I am currently two years and two months old. This means that I am experiencing my first ever United States of America election year. It seems like a lot of fun, but viewing it from the remoteness of Australia is like watching something through one of my toilet roll middles. (My staff give me them to chew and throw about. They're very entertaining, and I can thoroughly recommend them. The toilet roll middles I mean. Not my staff - I certainly can't recommend them and they're not the least bit entertaining.) Sorry, I got diverted, where was I? Ah yes. I was viewing the American presidential election year through a toilet roll middle. You can see the central characters, but nothing that is going on peripherally. So it's quite likely that I'm getting a somewhat skewed impression of the whole thing.
From my cage I have a very good view of our brand new television and each news and current affairs programme these days seems to have a short feature on the Republican primary elections, which have now been reduced to a two man contest between a pair who are also competing for the silliest name. We have Mitt (Named after a baseball glove, with a personality to match.) and Newt (Named after a slimy amphibian. He also has a personality to match.) There was a third candidate called Rick (I think there may be a silent P at the front of his name.), but his name wasn't silly enough to continue, so he gave up to concentrate on thinking up a sillier name for next time.
Mitt, Newt and Rick have been insulting each other for months now, each of them saying to the American public what total idiots the other two are. The funny thing is that they all belong to the Republican party and when they do finally decide who has the silliest name and will therefore challenge for the presidency, the two losers will be expected to fall in behind the one with the silliest name and to say what a splendid chap he his.
The American public will be expected to forget that the other two have been calling the winner a tosser for months and vote for him in order to evict that evil Irishman Mr O'Barmer from the Oval Office.
President O'Barmer himself has a problem in that fifty percent of Americans hate his guts, ten percent of those probably hate him because he isn't white, which he will find difficult to change. His other problem is that he is more popular in other countries than he is in America itself. If he were running for the presidency of Indonesia or Kenya he'd probably win in a landslide. He'd certainly win here in Australia, but he'd have to learn how to drink rum and coke, wear thongs, refer to women as "sheilas" and build up an immunity to the foul taste of Vegemite. One certain way of ensuring that he wins the coming elections against whoever gets the Republican nomination would be to enact a law decreeing that the entire world is eligible to vote in the American election. I can't see that happening though.
I've also only ever experienced one Australian general election so far, and it seems far more predictable. Here the political parties generally only insult members of the other parties,but just like in America we only have two main parties. The Labor Party is sort of like the American Democrats and the Liberal National Party is sort of like the Republican Party. We used to have a third party called the Australian Democrats, positioned between the other two, who's slogan was "Keeping the Bastards Honest". The trouble is that they joined forces with John Howard's Liberal National Party to push through the Goods and Services Tax in 2000 and so became one of the bastards themselves. At the next general election only three people voted for them, and one of those did so in error. The Australian Democrats no longer exist.
No doubt politics in both the USA and Australia is a much more complex thing than it seems when viewed through a toilet roll, but Badger say's "Nah! Politicians are all just a bunch of self-serving twats."
I said no such thing. I merely observed that they are more concerned with the trimming of their toenails than they are with improving the lives of the people they serve.