I love elections. Anywhere. It's fascinating to see how politicians craft public appeals. No matter how flawed the process, it's how nation-states recharge their legitimacy and publicly reaffirm their leaders' mandate to govern.

During this season of the world's most-watched presidential campaign, JBC will assess the good, the bad and the ugly of how the United States and Japan run their elections.

But first, who am I to comment? Well, I've witnessed first-hand, if not directly participated in, election campaigns in the United States (as a voter), Great Britain, Canada and, of course, Japan (also as a voter). I've had a lifelong interest in politics, with an undergraduate degree in government from Cornell, college coursework in European politics at a British university, and a Stateside graduate degree involving international comparative policy environments.