Three hundred and eighteen. That’s how many days Ted Cruz has been campaigning for his seat in the White House, and when election day rolls around Cruz will have spent 596 days running for President.
For Americans the heavy doses of circus-like performances during debates tends to be the norm come election season. The stakes are high and each candidate is expected to make some form of a ‘shocking’ comment.
And perhaps some of the shock value we receive during an election year is due to candidates having the ability to spend without limits during their campaign trail.
And Canada has both caps on how much a candidate can spend during their campaign, as well as how much a single contributor can give. In a calendar year a citizen or permanent resident can donate no more than $1,500 dollars to a political party or candidate, and spending limits for campaigns are based on region, according to Elections Canada.
Kyle Davidson, a Burlington, Ontario resident and registered voter, says having long campaigns and unlimited spending comes with both advantages and disadvantages.
“My only concern, if I was an American, would be taking the candidate away from the job they were appointed or elected to. Are they still serving those roles the way their suppose to?” Davidson said, explaining the length American candidates spend on campaigning is no where near as long as Canadian candidates can spend campaigning during election year.
In fact Canada’s last campaign season was 78 days, the longest to date.
“However, in a long campaign it really gives you an opportunity to know who the candidates are and what they stand for,” Davidson said. “They do get exposed, for better or for worse.”
But allowing a level planing field, says Davidson, is another factor to consider, especially when it comes to money. And as candidates continue to collect donations, the race turns in to who is raising enough money to make their campaign win over voters.
Yet perhaps the biggest difference between how Canadian politics and American politics differ comes down to the pure entertainment American politics brings to the podium.
“I would suggest our debates are a lot tamer, maybe stale. There’s no where near the entertainment value in our politics,” Davidson said. “There’s quite a difference between the two countries in that regard.”
Davidson says it’s like watching a reality show. When American debates look like a spot on the biggest game show on earth, Canadian debates have a simple studio, no in-your-face graphics, and seemingly no in-studio audience.
No matter which method seems more appropriate, the U.S. certainly has become known for delivering entertaining politics, especially during this particular election year. And as we inch closer to November, regardless where you’re living, all eyes are watching to see who will be voted the next President of the United States.