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American mass debating…

American mass debating…

So I settled down to watch the American Presidential debating thing last night, and was wondering how long it would take for the first insult attempt to waft through the airwaves. It didn’t take long – McCain was barely out of the gate before the first volley appeared. They really ought to instigate a rule that you cannot bash the other candidate’s background or personality.

The British political parties keep resisting the idea of “American-style” TV debates, although I’m not too sure why. We’ve pretty much embraced the other parts of American political campaigning – the mass rally, snide political advertising… although from my memory of the last election, British political (non-TV ads) keep aimlessly bashing the other party. At least the American political TV ads over here give you reasons not to vote for Obama/McCain/section 6.

The opinion polls seem to show a rise in Obama’s standing – although naturally I can’t trust opinion polls. Especially after the British elections of 1992 which consistently reported people saying they were going to vote Labour, but they voted Tory in the end. Essentially, people were too ashamed of wanting to vote for the Tory party that promised tax cuts at the expense of the economy. I can’t help feeling in a gut instinct way that this is being mirrored in the opinion polls in the US – especially when the only election graffiti I’ve seen was in a toilet at Detroit airport with a crude rude caricature of Obama.

And was it just me, or did McCain walk around as if he was a puppet? Very stiff, Frankenstein-like. And the only person he tried to ‘physically connect’ to was a soldier. Does he do that to every soldier he meets? It makes it seem like joining the military is the biggest country golf club in the world. (Then again, Obama didn’t touch anyone at all if memory serves)

The British elections are going to be so tediously dull. If only because for Labour to win would take a miracle at this point, I fear.

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