Our elections are less tedious

We all are counting down the days to Nov. 6—Election Day in the United States.
It can’t quick enough, though I already realize that within a matter of a few months, the election season will be refreshed for the House and Senate races coming up in 2014.
We know the presidential candidates have been well-fortified with political donations. Just for the presidential elections this year, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each have raised $1 billion.
If you are in the television or commercial creation business, this has been a windfall year.
If you live in one of the so-called toss-up states, you will have disconnected your landline to protect yourself from the thousands of calls by pollsters and candidates. If you are in a non-contested state, you might even wonder if an election is taking place.
But this will all end next Tuesday night when the last polling station closes in Hawaii. Then the U.S. nation and the rest of the world will wait to see who is elected “President of the United States.”
Pollsters claim this presidential election is too close to call and it is possible that the incumbent could win, not with the greatest number of votes but with a win of the Electoral College vote.
It has happened before. Al Gore received more votes than did George Bush in 2000, but the Republican Party carried the state of Florida and with it Florida’s electoral college votes, which put Bush Jr. in the White House.
The world waited for almost a month as the vote counting and recounts in Florida wandered through the court system all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In most U.S. elections, the person with the most votes wins the Electoral College vote.
Already, lawyers have been hired to begin the potential legal battles over vote irregularity.
Voting is a much more tedious task in the U.S. The ballot in Florida, for example, runs to 21 pages, and going through and making decisions about municipal, state legislators, representatives, senators, and the president is daunting.
Voters also will be making decisions about judges and state ballot initiatives.
While Michigan has six ballot initiatives, and California 11, the electors of Florida have 12 state amendments to vote on. There were 35 additional amendments in Florida that did not meet the state criteria to be on the ballot.
In Canada, our ballot is but a single sheet of paper, in which we choose one person to be elected to the House of Commons. It means we can know the outcome of the election before even the last ballot is cast.
And it happens just in time for both the CTV and CBC networks to announce the next government in their 10 p.m. news hour.
Canadian candidates for Parliament or any provincial government have a limit on the money they can spend. In the U.S., the only limit on a candidate’s election spending is the candidate’s ability to raise money.
In Canada, third-party advertising is not permitted. Although there are limits on how much any supporter can donate to a candidate, there is no limit on how much a special interest group can spend to get a candidate elected.
We’ll take a breather, knowing that in Ontario, we’ll have an election before the summer solstice.
The good news is that an Ontario election campaign will be less than 40 days in length.

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