Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The US Presidential Elections

Thankfully there’s only another month or so to go before the US goes out to vote for its president and all this politicall wrangling will be over. Unless of course these new electronic voting machines fail and we end up woth Florida 2000 all over again, but I digress.
The real reason why I’m posting this is that despite the fact that the elections are happening in another country, over here in Blighty we’ve heard an awful lot about it. The debates between Bush and Kerry and Cheney and Edwards were both broadcast live on BBC1, our main TV channel, although due to time differences this meant that they were on at 2am when there isn’t much else on anyway. They were also repeated on the digital channel BBC Parliament a number of times.
The main news has also had a lot of coverage, including some quite lengthy analysis of the latest twists and turns in the campaigns. And this has been going on for months. I think there are two reasons for this:

  1. The President of the United States is arguably one of the most important people in the world. Who gets elected may well impact our lives over here – it’s certainly true for the families of soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example – and so it’s important for us to know.
  2. Your elections are far more interesting than ours. No, really. The nearest thing we have are general elections where we elect a representitive to the House of Commons, with the leader of the party with the most seats becoming Prime Minister. The date of the election is usually only announced a month in advance and the campaigns are far less grand – none of these flashy conventions. We have party conferences but they’re usually quite sombre affairs.

American politics is quite fascinating, maybe because it is quite different to how things happen over here. Whether that’s a good thing, I don’t know, but it sure makes interesting viewing.


  1. I hate everything about the elections. They have these big grand fairs, mud-slinging ads on TV, and too much political BS on TV. I can’t wait until the elections are over. I just wish they just said, “here is what my vision is” and that is it. No bashing the other canidates.
    As far as my opinion on the canidates, check out my post on the subject.

  2. No doubt our politics is more complicated, but more interesting? I dunno.
    Nice blog.

  3. Interesting to see an Englishman’s perspective on this. As a left-leaning American, I’ve been facing this year’s election with a mixture of resolve, trepidation, exasperation, and amusement.
    The whole thing sometimes seems like a ridiculous PR circus, but I truly feel that this is one of the most important elections of recent history.
    I’m hoping and praying that on Nov 2 the American electorate chooses wisely and carefully, and that the electronic voting technology doesn’t make an absolute mess of everything. At times, I do wish I had the ability to look at this process from the outside, as you have. I guess the cost of having such a raucously democratic form of government is the occasional turmoil that comes with it.

  4. Perspectives on the 2004 Election

    Two interesting perspectives on American presidential politics, one from an Englishman who observes our raucously democratic process with detached fascination and another from a jaded undecided voter who finds nothing particularly compelling about eith…

  5. UK Perspective

    Speaking of perspectives on the US elections, here is a blog entry by Neil, a student in the UK, on his perspective of our election process. Apparently we’re a lot more interesting that elections in the UK. =)…

  6. ThereĀ“s one important thing to recongice:
    -If Kerry recognices that all the sayings in farenheit 9/11 (the movie; documental) are true that will defeat undoubtedly Bush.
    – And Kerry has to rely all his comments based on farenheit 9/11 (the movie; documental)

  7. This is just fine. Nice to see so many people still talking about the election. I like the perspective of others. However, I think we could streamline things considerably in the US elections. I don’t mind the bashing. I am not excessively sensitive to hubris, etc. It is wonderful that in this land of opportunity there is so much diverse opinion. It amazes me that we can have such different views. It goes to show that we all come from different places.