SB and I have decided that the Canadian electoral process needs a complete revamp so that it is more similar to the American process.
We have been paying a lot of attention to the primaries, who's running, what they stand for etc. I think in the past year I have spent more time watching news stories about American candidates than I have watched on Canadian politicians in my whole life.
And you know why this is? The Canadian system is not set up to engage the people. We never know when an election will be. People can just step down and a successor fills in for five minutes (hello, Kim Campbell who?). When they announce an election, they come up fast so we never really know the candidates, and who cares, because we don't vote for the candidates anyway, we vote for a representative in our area, and who knows where the heck these people came from.
So, SB and I are in favor of making the Canadian system a bit more American Idol, like the US does it. These dudes (and lady) started hyping themselves over a year ago! (In Obama's case it was even before that). Now they are having primaries to choose the candidate - the PEOPLE are choosing the candidate, not the party itself in some backroom deal or one-night engagement. And maybe the best part about the primary process is that the candidates get worked over hardcore - they are running their asses off trying to meet as many people as possible and make as big of an impression as possible. This helps wear down the politic in them and gives at least a small glimpse of their actual personalities. Some of them should keep that to themselves (sorry Howard Dean - you were my fave four years ago until you lost your bloody mind on TV), but some of them become more likable.
Then after all that craziness, they get like 9 more months to work their game.
That's two full years of face time, and sussing out where they stand and who they represent (well, at least as much as you can believe them. And just because we like the system they use, we aren't sure the US makes the best choices within that system. But that's a whole other story.....)
Meanwhile, when we vote we really have no idea who these people are, so we pretty much vote for whoever doesn't want Quebec to separate. And we also wouldn't vote for someone in favor of killing kittens for their pelts. We feel strongly about those issues.