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An Expensive Referendum
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saxifrage00
It’s been repeated over and over that a Presidential election where the incumbent is running for office is really a referendum on the success of that President. The American people will re-elect their President if they’re satisfied with the way he has lead their country so far.

I’m writing to mock America. You just had a referendum that cost 3.9billion dollars and took two years to complete. Are you fucking incompetent?

No where else in the world is an election, let alone a referendum, that incredibly expensive to run, nor take that long to execute. Many countries, mine included, find two months to be far more than enough time to campaign, and expenditures are usually in the hundred millions, not in the billions. That’s to say that an American election takes more resources in time and money by a factor of ten over what’s necessary to make a simple choice of who will form the government. Actually, scratch that—it’s a factor of ten more than what’s already considered excessive in most other countries.

You people have the most inefficient democracy of any developed country. Not only that, but for all that effort, wasted time, and unnecessary expense, all you can manage to do is offer a choice between two people out of your 225 million? Evidently, you value choice in flavours of ice-cream more than you do who will lead your country.

Tell me, are you really satisfied with the way this works?

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Can anyone reference the expense of conducting the referendum on Quebec Separation in the nineties? I was a University student in Ottawa at the time, and I remember being absolutley appalled that the Federal Government of Canada (therefore the taxpaying citizen of Canada) was paying to conduct a poll to see if there was a significant desire for the province of Quebec to declare itself a separate nation.

Also, as a relatively recent transplant to B.C., I found it very interesting that provincial elections seem to be based on voting for whichever party didn't just screw up the province in the last election.....

Political machinery is, IMHO, rusty, slow and confused with redundancy.

According to this Elections Canada site, the 1995 referendum on Quebec sovereignty cost $63,571,503. It notes that the referendum was only in the Quebec jurisdiction, so I suspect, but don't know, that it was paid for only with Quebec taxes. I can't find anything to clarify that either way.

Certainly, the resources that were poured into the Federal Clarity Act that followed in 1999-2000 were on the general taxpayers' bill.

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