An American observer comments on French politics.
In Kapil's article, it is misleading to talk about "generic" US style primaries without explaining that each primary is state run and organized. There are 2 round French style primaries in Louisiana, "jungle" primaries, as in Texas , also a 2 round system where all parties compete. Complete party controlled primaries in NY where you must register to vote by party, and if you register independent, you cannot vote in any primary. Kapil's denigration of the American primary system, finding it in many ways so inferior to the European multi party system shows too much anti-American bias to merit consideration. Although the primary system in the US is not perfect (what is?) his analysis is not relevant to recent electoral history. The primary system serves the purpose of being a long process of winnowing out the weaker candidates, by giving the electorate time and opportunity to see candidates in action. Money plays far less of a role in present day elections. Just ask billionaire would be NJ Gubernatorial candidate John Corzine who spent tens millions of his own money and lost big to Chris Christie who ran his campaign on a shoestring and on the ground retail politicking. Since there is no Democrat primary this time, and so many wish they had a choice other than Obama who us tanking in every poll, the GOP primaries currently taking place are a good place to watch the process in action. At this time in the 2008 election cycle, Rudy Giuliani was leading the pack, and the fundraising. This time around, the media tells us it is Romney, although 70% of conservatives dont like him. The ones to watch are Perry, Herman Cain, and Newt. Ron Paul wins all the straw polls, but could never win the nomination.
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