There are a lot of things that campaigns have in common. Bickering, birching, mudslinging, and all that good stuff. But one aspect that sets the American and Spanish electoral systems apart from each other is the amount of time devoted to these campaigns. Whereas running for president requires about 18 months of exhausting tree-stumping, hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses, tens of thousands of kilometers of traveling, the Spanish version is condensed to a paltry three weeks. It’s as if they couldn’t be bothered with putting up with all the hassle. And it kind of makes sense. I mean, we know who the candidates are, we know what their parties stand for, we know just who is going to vote for whom…so why prolong the issue?
The States in part (but only in part) can justify their outstretched process by arguing that they have the primaries to nominate a candidate. That’s a valid point to an extent. Then it stops being one. Objectively speaking, there is no reason for it to go on for months on end.
In Spain, it’s the party members who do the choosing. This, in my opinion, is a huge drawback because people like to have a say in those matters. What if, for example, you like the party but not the candidate? Then, what do you do? These are the types of questions and comments that people have stated in the past. Especially after the last election in the U.S. in 2008, people here wished they could have a more active role in the process. Oh well, I guess that won’t be happening for a while…if it ever does.