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Ok, so Obama has won, the jury is now out to see whether he delivers - but why don't the British have the same level of excitment.........

(48 Posts)
guyFAwkesreQuiem Wed 05-Nov-08 12:51:34

about elections and politics as the Americans so obviously do??

Is it thats it just not the "done" thing to get excited about democracy, or is it because it's of the way elections and the whole process leading up to them is done.

Yes there are celebrations after General Elections in the UK - I still remember the 1997 Labour landslide, but nothing on the scale of the US.........

RubySlippers Wed 05-Nov-08 12:54:06

i think we just can't do Pizazz like the USA

we are also lacking politicians as charismatic as Obama or those who inspire revulsion and admiration in equal measure (like Sarah Palin)

MrsNormanMaine Wed 05-Nov-08 12:54:56

I think the British are more reserved - a true cliche in my opinion and more cynical about their politicians. I remember real excitement in 1997 but can't imagine feeling that in the near future. The Americans are very good at whipping up a real trumpets and parades feeling to the whole thing. If we did that I bet most comments on here would be about wasting money.

MrsNormanMaine Wed 05-Nov-08 12:55:31

And most comments in real life too - not just mn!

SoupDragon Wed 05-Nov-08 12:57:17

The British don't have the same level of excitement about anything. You only have to watch the stark contrast between Extreme Makeover Home Edition and DIY SOS.

etchasketch Wed 05-Nov-08 12:58:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

etchasketch Wed 05-Nov-08 12:59:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Wed 05-Nov-08 12:59:58

Oh, god, I was excited the night Blair was first voted in - parties, outside the RFH, met friends f celebratory breakfasts..

We don't do 'stuff' - balloons, placards, merchandise - to the same extent, and we are more embarrassed about cheesiness, but I think we do do excitement.

mabanana Wed 05-Nov-08 13:00:10

There was a huge sense of excitement when Blair ended decades of Tory rule - don't you remember? And of course, joy unconfined when Thatcher was finally hauled out of No10, sobbing grin
But I also agree with SoupDragon, we aren't really a whooping and weeping nation. More monosyllabic and moaning.

daftpunk Wed 05-Nov-08 13:00:53

lol soupdragon...quote of the week dude!

i can't even imagine a politician here who would be as charismatic as obama.

docket Wed 05-Nov-08 13:05:05

I think the Labour victory in '97 was hugely exciting. I think we can do excitement when appropriate but agree there's not much to be excited about at the moment.

guyFAwkesreQuiem Wed 05-Nov-08 13:07:17

oh yes I remember being excited in 1997 (I'd only just turned 18 (2 months previously) and had cast my first vote. And yes of course there were celebrations, but it just seemed so reserved........and dare I say it boring compared to what the Americans (and indeed other countries around the world) are like at election time.

good point Soupy about the Extreme Makeover Home Edition and DIY Sos grin

hellsbells76 Wed 05-Nov-08 13:09:43

we were delighted in '97 but as i remember it, far more because of getting the tories out than because of any real hope that blair would change things. even back then i thought he was a smarmy git...

KayHiding Wed 05-Nov-08 13:15:29

Well, apart from anything else, there is a world of difference between the Democratic voters and the Republicans in the US in many ways. Politics here are much more centrist, so there's not much to get excited about. It's like deciding between baby pink and a gentle blush pink over here.

IorekByrnison Wed 05-Nov-08 13:16:25

Agree with hellsbells. There just hasn't been enough difference between the parties in the UK to generate huge excitement. But Obama winning today really feels to me like the triumph of good over evil, and a return of hope for the world. Or something.

(I doubt it will feel like this 6 months down the line, but it's not often we get to feel this optimistic about the state of the world so I'm enjoying it while I can).

IorekByrnison Wed 05-Nov-08 13:16:57

And agree with Kay (x posts)

chisigirl Wed 05-Nov-08 13:23:23


Well, the US generally isn't renowned for being subtle (and I don't mean that in a rude way at all.) It's partly a cultural thing, helped along by a fairly exuberant media!

Also, this election was 'bigger' than usual in the US. I think it's viewed as one which will significantly change the country (and potentially the rest of the world).

Also, voter turnout in the US is usually much lower than in many other western democracies, including the UK. So it's perhaps a bit unfair to say that Americans are more excited about their election when a good many of them usually don't bother to vote!

Niecie Wed 05-Nov-08 13:30:39

This is an unusual election even by US standards, the kind that comes along once in a lifetime. Probably the election of Kennedy was a biggy but who remember the elections of many of the others as causing this much excitement?

Their election process is so much more drawn out than ours and goes through more stages, what with the nominations and the primaries. It has taken nearly a year to get to this point. That can build excitement in the right atmosphere but it can also lead to more apathy when it seemingly drags on too long.

I don't know, do we want this type of excitement. With huge highs like the US are experiencing, come huge lows, probably when the public realise that not a huge amount is changing in the short to medium term. I mean, the guy doesn't even take office until January. He can't even get on with the job yet.

Callisto Wed 05-Nov-08 13:55:18

I think we're cynical for a reason - there is no accountability whatsoever with our bloody politicians who make promises one day (eg EU referendum) and then renege the next. Our press has no respect for our politicians (not that they deserve any) so every last peice of sleaze is dragged under the microscope at every opportunity. None of our politicians has any charisma at all. They are all grey suits, interchageable with one another whether male or female. And none of them inspire hope for the future because they don't care about the future, merely the furtherment of their own careers/agenda/party with no thought of the electorate. Added to which the Labour party is slowly chipping away at the democratic process to make it easier for them to stay in power and get their policies made law plus we have the most pansy, ineffectual, weak opposition on the face of the planet.

Rhubarb Wed 05-Nov-08 13:57:48

Because it's all so tacky over there. It's like a bloody Jerry Springer show. All these hysterical people waving their flags, whooping, crying, screaming - for a politician?

I'm very very pleased Obama has got it, I think he'll change America (if he lives) and I'm so so relieved that McCain never made it. But us Brits do quietly pleased. I much prefer it that way. America seems very self important.

Callisto Wed 05-Nov-08 13:58:42

And I think it is really sad that we sneer at a nation that does get enthusiastic about its newly elected president, as if we are better than the Americans for always thinking 'no we can't'.

Callisto Wed 05-Nov-08 14:00:12

Rhubarb - those people were whooping crying and screaming for a man that they truly believe can make a difference. No better thing to whoop, cry and scream about is there?

guyFAwkesreQuiem Wed 05-Nov-08 14:01:56

oh I'm not sneering!!! I just think it's sad, yes there's a low voter turnout (perhaps gone up slightly this year they think?) but the enthusiasm of those that have gone out to vote is astounding.

I'd much rather we were whooping and screaming, waving flags etc over a politician than Z list slebs as seems to be more common place - and they are never going to make any difference.

Rhubarb Wed 05-Nov-08 14:02:13

But we see the same whooping and crying and screaming at every American election - it was the same when Bush got voted in, you know, when the votes were rigged?

It turns the policitian into a celebrity and I don't like that.

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