Monday, January 07, 2008

American races...

... are always more interesting than Canadian races. Political races!

Even though the 2008 presidential campaign has been going on for over a year now, it's hard not to be fascinated by it. Maybe it's my background in political science, or maybe it's just because this is one of the more complex campaigns we've seen in some time. Take for example the Republican side. There you have four plausible candidates battling it out for what is almost definitely a defensive action, with victory little more than a wishful thought. Then you have the Democrats. Oh, the Dems. You'd think with the backing of the media and the popular appeal of their anti-war, anti-Bush platforms, they would be doing more. But they aren't, and I have a few thoughts on why that is.

That this is a historical race is a understatement - it is the first race in which race and sex have become the primary selling points for two of the Democrat's major three candidates. Barack Obama, as nice and charismatic as he seems, is there because he's black. He has little political experience, no executive experience, but virtually all the media doting. Hilary has a bit more actual political experience - her claims of co-presidency are alarming, if not borderline insane. Imagine if a police officer's wife ran for chief because her husband had been chief before. Again, here Hilary's main selling point is her sex - make history by electing a woman.

Both of these candidates put impressionable voters into a precarious position because of their implicit emphasis on their being the firsts of their kind. Though it is painful to admit, many people will vote for Hilary or Barack because of their 'minority' appeal, rather than their credentials.

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