The razzmatazz of the United States elections often feels more like Hollywood than serious politics. But the system has its advantages. This has become clear now that presidential candidates have been en-dorsed and their running mates selected. South Africa’s general election will take place just six months after the U.S. In terms of process the differences are stark. Provided he can stay out of jail, the next president has already been chosen by a few thousand delegates who gathered at Polokwane after selection processes that were often questionable. The U.S. political system is far from perfect, but it does offer genuine mass participation.