Sunday, November 2, 2008

Power to the people (or not)

Our triangular week of birthday/election/horsie fun continues with a second passing of the election post. This means we're nearly at the big day itself ("thank chroist," I hear you say, "then can we please get back to non-thematic drivel?").

Indeed we can, but for today it's US election funtime!

Like a kid in a candy store I almost don't know where to start: maybe with a list of quotes we can all nod knowingly about ("Oh, it's so true"): says Carroll Doherty from the Pew Research Centre: "Bush has the lowest ever approval rating ... worse than Nixon's worst". Wow, that's pretty bad.

Or maybe gather together some of the nicknames that the candidates have picked up over the months of the campaign: No Drama Obama; NObama (if you're on the other side); Sarah Failin; McCain: McCan't, McSame, McBush ... McFailin.

Or maybe a quick one-person game of twenty questions: am I the biggest thing in Alaska since the Exxon Valdez oil spill? Did my approach to financial management include putting the state jet on eBay? Do I live in a town full of pick-up trucks with bumper stickers like 'Pro-life is Pro-women'? AM I SARAH PALIN? Yes!

But there really isn't anything more democratic than letting the people speak for themselves.

So let's give the good people of the fifty-one states a quick warm-up question in readiness for Tuesday, just to get them thinking about the whole government-by-the-people thingy. A nice, easy question, like what is the difference between Republican and Democrat?

And thus the people speak:

Andyzro said: "democrat is when the government is taking decisions on a democrat(clever) way and people also have an opinion to chose ... where a republican , dont think they are allowed to speak... and the government controls everything ,(im a bit confused with republican and comunism ???)" [sic, sic, sicketty sic].

toadaly said: "Democrats favor a larger role for the Federal government, whereas Republicans favor a larger role for the Federal government." Um...

And my favourite:

lucky_j_2003: "It does me no good to try and explain it to you. If you have to ask this question you are one of two types of a person: 1. you are too young to know or understand with reasonable certainty the difference; 2. you are too dense to understand or too ignorant to listen."

Ah mercy! Steady on, lucky_j_2003! At least some people in the fifty-one states are engaged enough to look the whole Democrat/Republican thingy up on the interwebs. Now we just have to hope none of them vote.

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