There are plenty of countries that hold fair and thorough elections in a matter of weeks. In fact, they've got no choice, because their lawmakers think that politicians should only start wasting people's time and money after they get elected. Sounds nice.
We're not talking about a matter of months, either. In fact, France and Japan manage to hold their entire elections in less than two weeks. That time includes everything from advertising to speeches to campaigning to voting day itself. One of the reasons elections can be so brief is that all the details have already been worked out. Every single candidate is allotted a specific amount of space for their campaign posters. Getting airtime is also the same deal -- every candidate gets equal time, and once it's gone, it's gone for good. In addition, every bit of media has to be pre-approved, and can't be negative about their rivals. If you just heard a series of pops, that's the heads of every campaign manager in the U.S. exploding.
Ogiyoshisan / Wiki Commons
They don't even have time to think of any weird, Japan-y s**t to do in place of actual campaigning.
It's not only France and Japan which demonstrate how we're taking this s**t too seriously. In Canada, elections are 11 weeks long. In Argentina, it's nine weeks. In the UK, it's five weeks. But a lack of legislative restrictions isn't the only reason U.S. elections can go on for years instead of weeks. The reason we're an outlier is simple: money. As a Canadian political science professor put it, "Voters in [Canada] would not have the tolerance or would not accept a system where that kind of money is spent on campaigns."
And if Canada can't politely tolerate something, it's probably not worth tolerating by anyone.
In other countries, anyone willing to spend the GDP of a small nation just to get crowned King Politician is unworthy of a vote. Our desire not to stifle the freedom of democracy has, ironically, corrupted the democratic process, with anyone who doesn't have half a billion dollars in Super PACs unable to compete.
But there's no going back now. We can't do that to all those political science graduates who need this eternal circus to keep them in blue Oxford shirts and charcoal blazers. They can't survive in the real world. If they're going to be begging for our money, at least let them do it in a warm office.
When they aren't spending their time dishing out vigilante justice and cheap puns, Marina and Adam can found on Twitter.
Also check out 18 Simple Ways Other Countries Are Just Better Than America and 5 Great Ideas That America Should Steal From Other Countries.
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