Too Presidential

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I thought Peter Snow was a bit much, but the BBC has another trick up their sleeve: for some reason, they've corralled a few hundred volunteers and given them magic markers in the color of each of the parties (Labour is red, Conservative is blue, and the Liberal Democrats are yellow). As the results come in, the volunteers are coloring in a giant electoral map by hand. I have no idea what they are trying to prove with this, but the BBC gave it about five minutes of breathless coverage. I think they're maybe trying to provide a reality show element to the coverage.

Slightly more substantive, they interviewed a few random voters, asking what they thought about the election. One said, "It was too presidential for my taste." Meaning, I think, that there was too much focus on Blair as the leader, and not enough focus on the individual MPs.
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FOLLOWUP: A panel of political commentators have just made the same comment: this election was "too Presidential." I think this comment is a reflection of the way the PM is chosen. In the US, you vote for the President, and you vote separately for your congressman. In the UK, you vote for your members of parliament, and whichever party has the most members get to choose the Prime Minister. The two races are therefore mixed together, and focus on one side of the race automatically takes focus away from the other.

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on May 5, 2005 11:05 PM.

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