With the Democratic and Republican National Conventions now over, let us review the proceedings to see if either were missing anything. Long and unnecessary speeches: check. Abundant amounts of obnoxious clapping every ten seconds: check. Phony symbolism and corny special effects: check.

It seems like everything is in order, Mr. Wonka. Relax everyone, I do not believe that watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a waste of time. Heck, give me the wonkavator and I could probably solve a lot of the world’s problems.

My issue is with the political conventions and what I think is a waste of everyone’s time and money.

Officials in both parties would tell you that national conventions are part of the nomination process, and are necessary for party unity and cohesion. For the rest of us, the conventions tell us nothing that we do not already know.

Do we really need a convention to officially tell us who will be nominated by each party? Is it necessary for a bunch of convention speakers to let us know where their nominee’s stand on a range of issues? The grueling year long marathon of state primaries and 24-hour news coverage already has the average American, well aware of the candidates’
positions, not to mention a large headache as well.

What is even more amazing is the total cost to stage one of these events. According to the US News and World Report, each of this year’s week-long conventions cost about 50 million dollars to stage. The most shameful highlight of the conventions was at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The spectacle appeared more like a rock concert, complete with a stage laden with greek columns and fireworks… paging the democrats; Vince McMahon is waiting on line one.

Maybe one day they will all realize that a simple press release can replace a completely unnecessary gathering of people and television cameras.

Somehow, though, I think that has as much chance of happening as me getting a wonkavator. At least I can dream.