Call me naive, call me idealistic, I don’t care. It would make a welcome and surprising change if the next US presidential elections were decided on policy and not money.

Although I’m pointing the finger across the Atlantic and the race for the White House, I have little doubt that the next General Election in the UK will similarly depend on who creates the healthiest fighting fund rather than the most progressive manifesto.

The latest figures releases in the US are nothing short of obscene.

In just the first quarter of 2007, Democratic hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have raised $26m (£13m) and $25m (£12m) respectively. That is just to help win the Democratic nomination, the successful candidate will have to raise a lot more in the presidential campaign itself.

The Republicans are not far behind – Mitt Romney has a three-month declared total of $23m (£10m).

The ability to spend the most on purchasing two of the most important and influential political titles in the world – the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Great Britain – does not mean we will get the best people in the jobs.

It seems such an obvious statement to make, yet we are allowing ourselves to be blinded by the dollar and pound signs.

Even on the most basic of business levels, the figures just don’t add up.

Does anyone really believe we have got value for money from either George W Bush or Tony Blair?

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