Some people say it’s too complex, but it’s got nothing on the American system – Damian Light

How much importance should we be giving the American elections?

Unfortunately American politics will always have an impact on us, more so if you’re interested in foreign affairs. For example GFC could’ve been avoided if there had been better management and oversight of Wall Street before the collapse. The current refugee crisis is a result of the ongoing issues in the middle east which aren’t entirely the US’s fault, but they certainly have the ability to reduce the issue (or inflame it).

It’s always interesting watching the horrible ‘us and them’ divide that exists in American politics – you’re either for something or against it. There is never a middle way, never a compromise. It’s driven a massive wedge between their politicians in Washington DC, leaving their Congress ineffective. The regular and predictable budget crisis (threating a shutdown) is proof their system is broken. We’re fortunate to not have the same level of partisanship here – while there is a difference between parties, they general all work together to make NZ better. MMP (for all its faults) means that we get a better representation and a more stable government. Less extremes and more cross party co-operation.

On the topic of MMP – some people say it’s too complex, but it’s got nothing on the American system. I won’t try and explain it here, a complex weave of delegates, electoral colleges and Super PACs make US politics about as non-democratic as a democratic system can be. Hardly anyone in America actually votes for their president, it’s all voting for people to vote on your behalf, if your side wins.

– Damian Light, United Future