David Frum compares America's political conventions to their British equivalent:
When I spoke to British politicos about their conference, they would speak with wistful envy of the grander, gaudier spectacle of the U.S. conventions. And who doesn’t like a tiger-striped cocktail? But there is this to be said for simplicity:
The fantastic expense of the American convention has to be paid by somebody, and that “somebody” usually turns out to be a corporate sponsor with an agenda of his own. The low-cost British equivalent pays its own way, by charging a hefty fee of all attendees, especially media. I paid 600 pounds for my press credentials. It’s a cleaner way of doing business, I grant. And the combination of higher charges for unlavish proceedings is as good a way as any of preparing the media and the delegates for the forthcoming era of British budget austerity.
Perhaps Americans will be ready for an austere convention by 2012.