Well, now that the US mid-term elections are over, I imagine the Americans out there are breathing a sigh of relief. No more mud-slinging, no more advertising paid for by XYZ Action Committee, CNN even carries the occasional actual news story.
Gotta admit, living here I don't miss the commercials. "Mr. Jones didn't vote for Y", "Ms. Smith is a commie", "Johnnie Reb wears skirts", "Jane, you ignorant slut!"
(On a sidenote, I think the Tea Party debacle was hilarious. Whatever your political affiliation, you just gotta love when the most conservative group says they're "tea-bagging", blissfully unaware of the meaning of that particular phrase... I just about blew Coke... a-cola... all over my computer monitor first time I saw that)
Here, however, elections have their own twist. Until last year, there were no political commercials of any kind on television. None. De nada. Zilch. Even now, they are just general platitudes, campaign slogans. It's bad form to attack your opponent directly.
What they do have are loud-speaker trucks. Usually little mini minivans, not the monsters on American roads, but about the size of a Volkswagen bus, with half a dozen folks wearing white gloves waving out the windows and loudspeakers on top blasting out the candidate's name and saying "Please vote for me!" That's it. No reasons why you should vote for them, just their names. From 8am to 8pm. Many times, the candidate isn't even riding in that truck, just some of their supporters with a looped tape. Very polite, though, they turn off the loudspeakers when stopped at a red light, and often smile and say a special hello (without asking for a vote) whenever they pass this blond-haired (what's left of it, at least) furriner.
But at least the campaign trail here doesn't start 18 months before the election. Every election, whether local or national, has a 3-week limit on campaigning. 22 days before the election, still blessedly silent. Monday morning at 8am, BWWAAAAAHHHH! The trucks begin.
On a personal note, I'm really glad the mid-term elections are over, because if I hear one more tea-bagger say they're gonna "Take America back", I'm 'a gonna scream. Take it back from whom, moron? Americans?
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