Come Wednesday morning I expect we will know who the next President of the United States of America is, unless of course there is a tie which, according to most U.S analysts, will result in utter confusion. I've spent the past few days reading and watching as much of the coverage as is possible, simply so I could avoid being called what the Americans referred to as the 'misinformed'.
So many forests the size of Wales have been felled for the production of leaflets, posters, newspapers etc that you suspect that the reality of the 'event' cannot possibly match the hype. The amount of electricity that has been used in the production of messageboards, chatrooms and online reporting by all the interested media outlets and by us bloggers could probably keep a small country's streetlamps lit until the next Presidential election.
What has been interesting to this British reader/observer with a casual interest in politics has been the attitude of the two main candidates to world events that have us Brits focussed on. There has been no mention (at any great length) of Afghanistan, the reason is fairly obvious, nobody likes a failure and the USA have been part of an overwhelming failure in terms of human life, there has been little said of the other great economies in the world - again I suspect this is partly because the USA has slipped behind China, India, Brazil etc as the great 'go to' guy in terms of economic growth.
That's not to say that it hasn't been discussed in fact Mitt Romney has given one of the best interviews I have read from a politician concerning the current economic woes of the world and how Governments should respond to future banking crises. His argument that the USA has lost its way because those in power (of all political shades) have forgotten that their role is to make sure that the country's own interests should come first is something that everybody surely recognises and yet we live in an age where corporate interests seem to dominate and countries are to eager to appease - look at the way British Governments treat the likes of Vodaphone, Amazon, Google and Facebook for tax purposes. He recognises the fact that a Government should operate in the same way as a Corporation does by ensuring that it's people (the shareholders) get the chance to maximise their earning potential rather than making their competitors always appear to be in a better position to do so.
Of course the downside is that we are surrounded by professional politicians who have neither the experience nor the will to vary from the path that so many models suggest they should, Romney does of course have experience beyond politics and next time you buy something from Staples you could pause a moment to thank his vision of a better solution to the problem of office supplies. He talks sense on the banks as well and interestingly he is one of the few right of centre politicians who is not afraid to say what many people believe here in the U.K, that those banks who, through their own lack of due diligence and casino style banking, lose money should not be saved from closure.
I also like Mitt Romney because of the 'Romney Olympics', he is 'Competitive Dad' from the Fast Show, he is George Costanza's Dad from Seinfeld urging his family to take part in tests of strength and he isn't afraid the change the rules so that he always wins. I hope in the case of the Presidential Election though that he loses.
It's nothing personal it's simply that I believe that Governments should have the chance of two terms. Look at Mrs Thatcher, she was out on her legs come 1983 but a combination of the Falklands War and a weak opposition spurred her onto make changes to the political landscape in Britain that would have been lost forever had Labour been returned as winners in 1983. Tony Blair hit the ground running in 1997 but a lot of legislation was reviewed, changed and watered down in that first period but the second was much better. The U.K will be better if the Coalition get a second chance in 2015 - although conversely I believe that a return to old style Conservatism, whilst placating those on the right of the party, will be a disaster for a modern forward looking country, as would a return to the values of the 'old left'. Anyway that is a debate for another day.