As hard as you might try, you can’t seem to avoid the US elections. There again, you really shouldn’t because the global community will be affected by who eventually finds their way into the Whitehouse. And this brings me to my first point about the short falls of democracy. Even though the rest of us will have our lives affected by US policy (both domestic and foreign) we don’t have a say in who will become the most powerful person on the planet. That aside, there’s a bigger problem in all this, with the underlying principle of one man one vote (ah, those were the days…). See, the thing is, to properly exercise that right and take your place in a democratic society, you have to be able to vote with your head. The problem is that a not inconsiderable number of people don’t actually have the brains to understand the issues that they are presented with. I include myself here on many aspects of UK politics. How the hell should I know if Europe’s a good thing or a bad thing? That’s your bloody job to know isn’t? Don’t make me choose! But democracy demands that I choose, otherwise it isn’t democracy. So, forced to do so, rather than vote with my head I vote with my heart. I vote based on things like, ‘well, last time I was in Spain I got my wallet nicked so I’m stuffed if we should move towards a European Federation.’ Get the problem? You see this in the US now. Most people aren’t voting with their head, they’re voting with their hearts. ‘Oh, she always looks so nice in them dresses don’t she? I think she should run the world’ or, ‘Yessiree, ‘bout time we had a black president.’ It simply can’t work anymore. But, not one to moan without offering a solution, I think I’ve cracked it. Voters shouldn’t be presented with people; they should be presented with policies. Simple manifestos, that’s it. No press interrogation and digging into candidates schooldays. No gender or race issues to tug at peoples heart strings. Vote on what you’re presented with without ever knowing the people behind the manifesto. Imagine the excitement on results night when the curtain on the cubicle is pulled back and you find out you’ve voted for Harry Hill? Cool.