Presidential watch party

A friend of mine called me very excitedly on Wednesday night and asked me "What time in the UK is the debate on?" For a minute, I was completely foxed. Then I realised that he was talking about your Presidential debate and that like the majority of us Brits, I had completely dismissed this vital part of your democratic process.

First, because you'll remember, we have a thing with Mitt Romney. Not a big thing. Quite a small thing, but it still hurts. It isn't about his religion, his tax return or how splendid his wife's horse is. You may recall that he was sort of dismissive about our ability to stage a successful Olympic Games, at a time when we weren't too confident about it either. Of course, it all came right in the end, but we don't think he's at his best when he's a guest in another country.

Second, to be honest, we all expect Barack Obama to be back in the White House come the winter.

But the biggest reason for our disinterest is our enthusiasm for following your lead. Think about it, America, from rock'n roll to coffee, movies to American TV, we've taken to you like ducks to water, though we've never learned to love the strange kind of football you play over there.

During our last national election, we borrowed your idea of televised debates between the party leaders. Democracy in action, we all cried, as we settled in our seats to watch the discussion. After all, we'd seen Kennedy versus Nixon. The result was some of the dullest TV you've ever seen, which led to our present ignominious position as a country run by a coalition of two dithering, incompetent, class ridden, out of touch, wretched political parties.

During the debates, the leader of the smallest party, like one of Mrs Romney's horses, came from behind and turned out to be the best at projecting himself on TV. For a brief springlike period he was enormously popular. Then he became part of our unloved coalition, broke many pre election promises and is now pretty much universally loathed, though I'm sure his wife loves him.

And there you have the reasons why, on this side of the pond, we won't be watching but we will be waiting to see who you choose in November.

This is Simon Bates for CBS News in London.