How U.S. elections are unique


Nothing symbolizes democratic government more
than the vote. Behind me is the polling place where I vote
on Election Day. On Election Day, there’s a long line outside
the door. Election Day is the last day of the campaign. In the case of the United States, it’s the
last day of a very long campaign. We have a marathon campaign. That’s different than European campaigns. They last a few weeks. In the United States, they last for months
and months. One reason for that is that we have primary
elections. Candidates have to run first in the primary. And if they win, then they run in the general
election. European democracies do not have primaries. American campaigns differ also in other ways. If you’re watching an American campaign on
television, you’ll see lots and lots of televised political ads. Some democracies prohibit or ban the use of
televised ads. Others restrict the time period in which they
can be shown. Another way in which American elections differ
is that they are a lot more expensive. Federal campaign now in the United States
will cost more than a billion dollars that’s 20 times what a campaign would cost in Germany
or Britain or Spain. Make no mistake, there is an American way
of conducting elections.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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