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Monday, 23 January 2012

Money is all in US politics... Or is it?

Gingrich undoubtedly knows what the people want to hear
And has no problem saying it, even when he knows it will not
be delivered on. For politicians such as Gingrich and Bailhache
power is the end, rather than the means to the end.
With the third result in, and the first result clarified...

IOWA - Santorum
NEW HAMPSHIRE - Romney
SOUTH CAROLINA - Gingrich

The news that Ron Paul came fourth has been heralded as a sign that it is time for him to leave, of course Gingrich came fifth in both Iowa and New Hampshire and remained in the race. Like Santorum in Iowa, Gingrich has thrown most of his resources in securing a win in South Carolina and heads onto Florida where Romney has been spending heavily for the past few months.

The Florida result which was bought up earlier than normal and has resulted in Florida losing half its delegates to the Republican Convention was supposed to secure outright victory for Romney early on the back of three other wins in the first three States. Florida is a key marginal state which in the recent past has determined the president. This will not now be the case. Politicians consistently fail to understand that people do not like to have candidates thrust upon them, whether it be in Blaenau Gwent the perennially safe Labour seat where the Labour party candidate selected by Westminister lost the election to the local party's choice in a show of rebellion in 2006. The South Carolina result is the Republican party saying

Three of the four candidates will be competing in Florida and the result may well see one of them leave the race, but Ron Paul has eschewed the establishment campaign trail and is focusing instead on the Caucus states which occur shortly afterwards: Nevada and Maine on Feb 4th and Colorado and Minnesota on Feb 7th. This is a play book taken straight from Barack Obama in 2008 who campaigned his own way rather than following the establishment path.

There is a lot of coverage reading a lot into what has happened, but for me one thing is clear. The voters of the US can be easily swayed, Santorum won Iowa simply by expending money on the campaign there, Gingrich came from nowhere in South Carolina to top the poll simply by spending money.

One thing that is clear is that the strict limits placed on election spending by the States of Jersey is undemocratic and is just another plank supporting the status quo and preventing the much needed change from occurring.