Although the American presidential season can drag on for many months, we are now truly entering the presidential election season in the USA, which will culminate in Americans voting for their next president on Tuesday, November 6th. The reason I say that the presidential election season is now truly beginning is because over the next two weeks both the Democrats and Republicans (the two political parties in the United States) will have their national conventions*.
This week thousands of members of the Republican political party are meeting Tampa, Florida at the Republican National Convention and next week members of the Democratic political party will meet in Charlotte, North Carolina for their convention. It is at these conventions that the political parties nominate their candidates for president. Until these convention take place the candidates running for president are called ‘presumed** presidential candidates’ because their nomination as a candidate has not been made official. These conventions are formalities***, but they are also a time for each political party to make their case to the America people for why their candidate should be elected president.
At the conventions there are many speeches, small group talks, and parties. People generally have a good time. But not everyone can attend these conventions. In order to attend the Republican or Democratic National Convention a person has to be invited. The people who are invited are usually: current and former politicians and current delegates****. (Also media personnel, people who work with special interest groups, and sponsors are invited.) The delegates to the convention are average Americans who have been elected in their home state (all 50 states are present) to represent their state and cast their vote for the political party’s candidate for president. As I mentioned before, these national conventions are formalities, at this point the Republican Party already has backed a candidate for president (Mitt Romney), as has the Democratic Party (Barack Obama). None-the-less each political party meets at their convention to make this decision official.
Over the next few months leading up to the American presidential election I will be writing a few posts about the American election process, the current presidential candidates, and culturally important news that comes up around these topics. If you have a topic or question about the current presidential election that you would like me to address, please let me know by leaving a comment on this post. The presidential election process is different around the world and I hope to shed some light on the American presidential election to help you better understand this.
*convention = a formal meeting of members, representatives, or delegates of a political party, society, profession, or industry
**presumed = supposed, assumed; something that is taken for granted or already understood to be true
***formality = the observance of rules often because of tradition
****delegate = a person sent or authorized to represent others