Because if they’erz one thing that royly seems to hit the noyves of Americans, it’s elections. Elections and guns. Ok, if there are TWO things that seem to engage Americans, it’s elections and guns. And Muslims. Ok, THREE things. Elections, guns and Muslims. Not including plastic-like cheese, of course. Elections, guns, Muslims and cheese that probably sticks to your inner linings. FOUR THINGS. Oh, and gays.
The televised debates... the always-clichéd and rarely-amusing adverts... the frankly eye-watering amount of money spent on campaigns (I’m sure if I had a couple of billion lying around, I could stand as a strong candidate too (although the Republicans always have that covered))... It really is a whole other concept over there. Imagine giving Ed Miliband a billion pounds for his election campaigning – if nothing else, it might help him forget about the fact that he looks like a novelty door-knocker.
We have the televised debates here now, of course – and despite the fact that I don’t think they really change anyone’s mind as to how they’ll vote, it at least has the promise of engaging some people who’d otherwise sit and watch a repeat of Midsomer Murders instead (no offence, it’s just that only twats watch Midsomer Murders).
You’d be forgiven for thinking, then, that through the dramatic graphics of news features on the subject, shouty debates, mass crowds during campaign rallies and party-political adverts starring A-listers that voting would be a whirlwind of giddy proportions and you’ll be greeted by the local Mayor who’ll shake your hand and even attempt to shine your shoes. This would then be followed by a fanfare sounding as you enter the polling station and confetti cannons blasting as you drop your ballot paper through the slit in the box, to then be given the offer of sleeping with any model of your choice, the keys to a brand new Porsche and a plate of cocaine.
But no. Of course, you get there and it’s always freezing-your-tits-off weather and the place that has been designated as a polling station is one of the few buildings left in the town that’s emotionally twinned with Peter Hitchens, or the colour brown. So naturally you think it has to be better once you’ve stepped inside, and you’ve tried not to dry-retch at the smell of warm carpet. Nope. Still awful. Then there’s the effort of communicating (or the attempt to) with the volunteers there for the day. Now, we can all deduce that there’s probably only one type of person who volunteers to man a polling station come election day, and that is the type who don’t bode well with varied human interaction. So, after the grunts, you place your vote, look at your “X” and check about four times that it’s quite clearly next to who you want to vote for and not the Conservatives, and then post your ballot with that same panic once you release your grip on it as when you post a letter of “WHAT IF I FORGOT SOMETHING?”.
Then you go home, wait to find out that the party you voted for hasn’t won, and whinge about it for the next 4 years. Magic.