Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Mr. President

I find US presidential elections very interesting. Partly it's because in Britain we don't vote for our Prime Ministers - only the party - so the idea of actually voting for a person is a sort of novelty. Also, to an outsider, the whole process seems so wonderfully Byzantine; full of terms like "caucus" and "primary" and "electoral college" - it creates and atmosphere of mystery and romance. We just tick the box for who we want to be our local MP, which is easier and more efficient but less quaint and consequently, to my mind, a bit dull. (And, it must be said, often we can't even get that right.)

Anyway, I was reading an article about the upcoming election today in an old Time magazine while I waited for Mamiko at the doctor's (I would never ordinarily stoop to reading Time, but at a GP's surgery sometimes you have to make do with what's available). It had a link in it to this site, which allows you to take a survey and work out which candidate is best for you.

My personal winner is somebody called "Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel", while at number two is "Illinois Senator Barack Obama", and number three "New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson". This makes me a Democrat, apparently.

At the bottom of the barrell - the candidate I'm least likely to support - is "Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo". Yeah, he sounds like a right twat.

Perhaps some of my cousins from across the pond can explain something about these people.

Incidentally, I've discovered that if you answer 'yes' to every question you end up with Rudy Giuliani, if 'no' you get Ron Paul, and if 'unsure' you get somebody called Joseph Biden (although that seems to be based on alphabetical order).


zero_zero_one said...

Apparently I would vote for Hillary Clinton.

That's pretty neat, with my limited knowledge of the candidates that's who I would have picked had I had the option.

Bilbo said...

I took the quiz and ended up with my optimum candidate as being Bill Richardson, which is interesting as I don't really like anyone who is running. I guess he's the least worst choice for me, although my personal favorite is "None of the Above." If you are confused about our electoral system, you may want to check back in my blog archives...I did a post about 2 months ago on that topic in response to a question from another overseas reader. And yes, Tom Tancredo is something of a bozo, although his rhetoric does appeal to the low and cunning parts of the electorate, and even to me when I've had enough to drink that my brain is idling.

Andrew Fry said...

Thoughts for you and zero_zero_one. Check out for some interesting blog entries. I mention him because he started a Lefties for Obama web site an he is very excited about Write a Novel Month.

noisms said...

bilbo: 'None of the above' is always the most sensible and ethical choice. That says something about politics.

andrew: Thanks! I'll check him out.

mattiecore said...

My top 3 matches were Kucinich, Gravel, and Obama. I'm crazy-Democrat, apparently.

Basically, the whole electoral system currently in place here in the US is the byproduct of our founding fathers not wanting uneducated, underprivileged folks to vote....basically. It's hardly Byzantine when you actually read up on it, but it's not very straightforward, either.