Unsigned: American elections stealing the spotlight from Canada

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In the current Canadian elections, figures such as Justin Trudeau, Tom Mulcair and Prime Minister Steven Harper all carry visions of change and improvement for the prosperity of their nation, but the general spectator appeal to their campaigns are considered lukewarm in comparison to the bloodbath popularity contest that is known as the American elections. Why do American politics tend to steal the spotlight on a global scale?

What do political figures such as Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and — now more recently — Donald Trump all have in common?

They don’t only represent political stances and visions for future change; they represent an image — all very different, yet all vital for the expansion of their following.   

Image will continue to be the underlying magnet that attracts attention regardless of the political stance, the vision or ideas for future implemented policies.

Not to say that image is irrelevant in Canadian politics, but the images of our political leaders feel directly tied to their platforms. Trudeau’s deficits, Mulcair’s childcare and Harper’s record are the primary feature of each of their political images. The pillars of their campaigns are policy driven and not solely reliant on ridiculous things they say or do.

American politics this year tells a different story.

Carly Fiorina is talking about planned parenthood, Ben Carson is talking about how Muslims shouldn’t be eligible to be a presidential candidate and Donald Trump pledges to never eat another oreo. These are the top three Republican presidential candidates according to national polls and all of them are gaining this traction by saying outrageous things rather than outlining what they would actually do if elected.

Canada’s politics are often described as boring, but do we really want them to be as “exciting” as the American counterpart?

Sure, we’ve had our share of excitement. Let’s not forget the crack-smoking mayor, Rob Ford, who quickly became an international sensation. Canadians seemed ready for a return to boredom rather than more absurdity from the mayor of Canada’s nationally-known city.   

Society may be obsessed with entertainment, but let us hope that our growing desire for amusement doesn’t stop us from tuning in to what truly matters.

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