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Reader comment on item: Superficiality Reigns Before the Election
in response to reader comment: Dreams of Whose Father's

Submitted by Anne Julienne (Australia), Nov 7, 2012 at 17:24

No democratic process is perfect and we surely can learn from one another. Two things stood out for me as seeming to be outrageous from an outsider's perspective. First, the money spent on the campaigns, perhaps ten billion dollars (if you include the extras like the cost of the primaries, costs to volunteers, secondary organisations, etc). There is an old saying: "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves". In this case it would be: "look after the billions in campaigning costs and the trillions in debt might be paid off sooner than you might think".

The second thing that really really shocked me was the nuts and bolts of the actual voting process. It just looked like a third world fiasco. Different rules and voting formats in different states and even in different counties. Huge opportunities for voter fraud and many voters disenfranchised (voting forms not reaching overseas forces, hurricane relief workers unable to vote absentee without notice).

And the queues! I refuse to vote if I have to wait half an hour on a queue. I saw many instances where people were prepared to wait for hours. Ditto for entry into the rallies. What's the point in attending a rally anyway? What is gained by that, apart from a bit of excitement? No, for me, voting here in Australia has lost its gloss but I can understand why many Americans don't bother at all. It's not just an imperfect system. It's bad and it's fixable by taking just a few sensible measures like having the presidential election overseen by one authority and disallowing fabulous spending. I won't be dreaming about seeing those changes in a hurry, though.

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