Are US presidential elections way too long? | The Tylt
Are US presidential elections way too long?
Canada just finished its longest campaign season last year, clocking in at 78 days. Mexico's election season can only be 147 days, by law. The United States looks like a never-ending circus by comparison. Shortening the election season would reduce money in politics and possibly introduce candidates less dependent on deep-pocketed donors:
"Still, a shorter U.S. election season could have plenty of advantages — it wouldn't exhaust voters, and it might not require a candidate to amass tens of millions of dollars to even run, for example."
After 20 months of endless attack ads, cable TV pundits, and sound bytes... is it any surprise why Americans are so apathetic about elections?
"Our election system is broken. Too much time and money is spent on a dog and pony show that serves no purpose and turns voters off with the endless campaigning, constant ads, and news networks that focus solely on candidates to gain ratings. When you add in the attempts to disenfranchise voters with gerrymandering and voter ID laws, it’s a wonder anyone votes at all."
On the other hand, when Donald Trump began to plummet in the polls (before Hillary's health scare), folks wondered if the prolonged length of the presidential campaign naturally exposes candidates who are ill-suited for the job. After all, it's hard to maintain presidential composure for months and months.
"A US presidential campaign is the longest and most demanding political stress test conducted anywhere, and it's always in the public eye. Candidates must keep cool under pressure and cope with reversals. Personal flaws, past and present, can surface at any time."
And isn't the best way to test the mettle of a presidential candidate through a long and grueling campaign with no compromises? Voters need to see these candidates under pressure and for longer than just a handful of days. This isn't Mexico; the winner will go on to become the most powerful executive leader on the planet. We have to screen out the losers:
"Another benefit is that the candidates who emerge from a long campaign are better tested, more experienced and arguably more fit for the job. It's one of the longest, most public job interviews because the presidency is one of the most important, most public jobs a person can have."