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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
Should celebrities stand for political office?
Arnold Schwarzenegger greets supporters outside NBC studios in Burbank, California after announcing that he will run for governor of California
The film star, Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he will run as a Republican candidate for governor of California.

The film star, best known for his role in the Terminator films, made the announcement during a recording of the American television programme, The Tonight Show.

The news comes shortly after television host Jerry Springer said that he would not run as a senator for Ohio.

Should celebrities run for office? Does it trivialise political affairs? Which entertainer would you like to see enter politics?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:

This topic was suggested by Anthony, Chicago, IL, USA
What are your thoughts on actor Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to run for governor of California?

Anybody who is sincere and dedicated to public service should be more than welcomed to stand for political office, celebrities included. In fact, celebrities like Mr. Bono are doing a tremendous job in highlighting the problems poor African countries are facing. It is however unfortunate that the problem with celebrity politicians, voters get a clouded celebrity image and hype rather than his/her actual policies or political leanings.
KW Yee, Malaysia

it depends on the celebrity in question
Tony, England
I think it depends on the celebrity in question. The danger is that someone with no experience of public office and limited political astuteness could sail through an election simply because of their popularity in the entertainment field. We need people who are capable of making a broad range of policy decisions and have an appreciation of both the background to, and implications of, these decisions. In the case of Schwarzenegger, he has made no secret of his interest in politics for many years. The degree to which he understands the workings of Government and the issues on which he will be forced to make decisions is anyone's guess. Then again, there is ample evidence that Bush was somewhat of a part-time Governor in Texas, and it hasn't done him any harm has it?
Tony, England

I feel that actors running for political office lean too heavily on their star power. I have yet to hear Arnold's thoughts on what this state needs. I want a platform written or declared; I want to know what I should expect of him. Also he should stop acting all together if he were to be elected.

I know that what is going on in my home state of California, looks really silly to those outside the US. But Davis has made such a mess of things, at this point I am willing to give an actor a chance
Candice Green, USA

If its Arnie for California, why not Homer Simpson for the White House. Marge would make a great first lady.
Alan Higham, U.K

Celebrities are always going to stand for political office. Name recognition is a key factor in a state as large as California. Mr Schwarzenegger trivialises political affairs by his campaigning style, just as Minnesota governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura has done before him. There is a long campaign ahead and Mr Schwarzenegger can still emerge as a serious candidate if he chooses to do so. My guess is that the media are more than delighted every time someone perceived as a clown chooses to run. I would have preferred Jerry Springer in politics but sadly for him Mr Springer chose to continue his show.
Topi Lappalainen, Finland

I just hope he brings aboard a speech writer to add those kitschy quips for which he is rightfully infamous.
Joe Brown, UK and USA
I think it's ideal to have celebrities in office, especially at the lower levels of government, because they receive wider attention and are more subject to public scrutiny outside their political territory. State politicians, for example, are extremely adept at getting away with ridiculous things that would not go unnoticed if they had some share of the limelight. Besides, Mr Schwarzenegger has played a host of hero-types in his career. Can you imagine the Kindergarten Cop skimping on education? Would the Terminator be soft on crime? What would Conan the Barbarian do about the energy crisis? Confusion between all of his well-known characters and actual person is inevitable and potentially hilarious. I just hope he brings aboard a speech writer to add those kitschy quips for which he is rightfully infamous.
Joe Brown, UK and USA (Alabama)

In the US anyone who is a legal citizen, has not committed a felony and is over the age of 35 is eligible to run for office. After all it is a Government of the people and by the people. Personally I would not trade our system of Government for anyone else's form of Government, after all we must be doing something right to be the richest and most powerful nation in the world. So mock us if you wish but the facts do not lie
John Crane, Houston, Texas USA

Aside from being a celebrity, Arnold Schwarzenegger is also an astute businessman. He is more interested in repairing the fiscal condition of California due to the socialist programs that have brought the state to brink of financial collapse. Since he is barred by the U.S. Constitution from seeking the Presidency, his intentions are more sincere than that of another power hungry celebrity, Hillary Clinton who wants to take away more freedoms from the American people for her socialist programs.
Mark, USA

He has a degree in business and economics from the University of Wisconsin
To Eric O, UK (below): Have you bothered checking his background? He has a degree in business and economics from the University of Wisconsin. He was also a self-made millionaire at 21 or 22. It seems to me that a celebrity may have a lifetime of experience in understanding spending trends and budgets and listening for when and what the next line should be.

Its Conan the Republican! Could we book the Hulk for PM?
Andrew, UK

I believe a politician should have a certain understanding of politics and international affairs. This is not always so in America, since there is no special requirement in terms of education. However, if you allow a "professional son" like Bush Jr. to stand for the highest office in the land, then why not a film celebrity?
Daniela, Germany

Only celebrities should run for office. Why on earth should a regular person get involved in that circus? Viva Hollywood!!!
Aristides Garcia, The Netherlands

I think that people should not believe a myth that politics can be delivered only by politicians. Politicians are just good at pretending to know everything. I hope that with a pure spirit, he can deliver good governance for the people in California.
F.Nakamura, Japan

It doesn't trivialise political affairs but brings life to the process
Kim Song, Korea
Celebrities have every right to run for office. It doesn't trivialise political affairs but brings life to the process, people are tired of all the lying, misrepresentation, cheating, corruption, and games so-called "Career" politicians play. Career politicians have already trivialized affairs in politics. One entertainer I would like to see enter politics is Al Sharpton, he's got wit and intelligence. Al declared that he would have an exit strategy in place for troops in Iraq. Hopefully he would reduce American presence elsewhere too.
Kim Song, Korea

Why not? They are just as capable of messing it up as the next man. However they may well just do it with a certain amount of style.
Jon, UK

Being an actor or a celebrity should not be considered as a qualification or disqualification for becoming a politician. However, it is usually not very likely that a person excels in two altogether different fields and achieves significant positions in both. Public should be sensible while casting their vote and should be realistic in its approach. Expecting an actor become politician to show similar miracles in the real life as are shown on the screen would be foolish on our part.
Syed Masood Haider, Pakistan

Historically letting Austrians stand for political leadership in other countries is a bad idea.
David Howe, UK

Heck, if President Reagan could run the county, why not Arnold for California?
Brian Temple, Germany

When did ability really matter in this game?
Garth, Zimbabwe
It only stands to reason that Hollywood stars become politicians. Look at it, the US has become an "Image Society" and Hollywood stars are eminently qualified for the job of a politician. Besides, when did ability really matter in this game?
Garth, Zimbabwe

Anyone can run for office in the US and their background and experience is not necessarily important. Unfortunately, the real truth is that anyone can run, but only people with money to spend on campaigning are likely to win. A celebrity has both recognition and money and therefore, a huge head-start. It doesn't sound like a fair race to me.
Lisa, UK (ex-Californian)

He will be ok in his role as a governor if he continues to perform in the same way he has been doing in his films. "Act more Talk less".
Srinivasan Toft, Denmark

The proper question is: Should we VOTE them in?
Tony Webster, Barbados

Incompetent professional politicians have trivialized politics enough as it is. I'm afraid the Terminator isn't any more politically competent than anybody else, so why shouldn't he run for office? Why not just ask Bob the Builder to run for office while we're at it, at least we know the children will probably vote for him when they come of age.
Kerstin Carlsson, Sweden

They make a fortune, date hot people and have fast cars - they must be smarter than the rest of us
Nico, Singapore
I think it's great, let's also get Carmon Diaz and the Tomb Rader chick in for the boys. Why is everyone assuming that actors aren't bright? They make a fortune, date hot people and have fast cars - they must be smarter than the rest of us. Let them run the place.
Nico, Singapore

'Politics is Hollywood for ugly people'. Where are the ugly people going to find work if Hollywood branches out?
Guy Chapman, UK

Celebrities in politics? Why not? Nigella Lawson for PM say I. At least I'd watch party political broadcasts. Meanwhile I remain amused and perplexed at the way Republicans - who have not hesitated to have Reagan, Heston and Arnie representing their interests - get so miffed when Martin Sheen and Susan Sarandon even express an opinion.
'Nigella Fan', Hong Kong

Politics seems to be going the way of the showman, so the real McCoy might as well have a go. I'd like to see Les Dennis in No 10.
Anon, London

Arnold for governor...The good thing about democracy, is that people get the leaders they deserve.
Dimitris, Greece

Actors are people. Democracy gives power to the people. Why shouldn't actors stand?
Robin, UK

I think Arnie will be one of the best
Matt, UK
I think Arnie will be one of the best. He has an unstoppable determination to succeed in whatever he does. He wanted to be the best bodybuilder, and won Mr Universe and now has his own more popular contest "The Schwarzenegger Classic". He then wanted to become one of the greatest actors of all time. I think we can honestly say he is the greatest action Hollywood star ever. If he wants to be the best governor in the history of California I'm sure he will rise to the occasion.
Matt, UK

Exactly what the US needs at the moment: a functional illiterate with a limited repertoire of asinine catch-phrases. It seems to have been a successful strategy for the Republican Party at the Federal level. Every nation receives the government it deserves. May God help America.
Stephen Hooker, Canada

With the fiscal mess we have in California, Arnold has business acumen and a commitment to success that no other candidate in the race can match. We need leadership and vision in California and I plan to vote for him. If he fails, we will vote him out of office. He has as good a chance of succeeding as anyone non-celebrity in the race.
Joel Brown, Bakersfield, CA,USA

Most actors have to audition for their parts. And when applying for a job that is a little more than entry level in a field different than one's present occupation, one might wonder how much job related experience might matter...or perhaps it's popularity and bank accounts that are more important....but on the other hand, if Arnie were running for President, I'm sure that would be an improvement.
Fred, UK

With so many issues & problems in California including a budget deficit of $38 Bln, I don't understand anyone (actor or non actor) wanting to be Governor.

There's nothing wrong with Arnold... what's wrong is the recall.
Spencer Strub, USA (California)

It's interesting that the US media condones an actor running for political office yet there was a huge uproar when actors spoke out against the war in Iraq
Dawn Lehrer, USA
I find it very interesting that the US media condones an actor running for political office yet there was a huge uproar when multiple actors and musicians spoke out against the war in Iraq. The general sentiment was that celebrities should be seen not heard - I suppose that only applies to liberal famous people.
Dawn Lehrer, USA

I think actors have every right to for political offices, I am just wondering their motives are. I hope these actors take firm stances on issues, not talk around them like George Bush or the Democrat Howard Dean (c'mon we know you have a stance on gay marriages Howard). Plus they might actually take responsibilities for their actions (not like Bush who tries to blame the Nigerian Uranium statement on other people). To sum it up, they might be a new standard to the current American politics of passing blame and dodging issues.
Jacob Kinnun, United States

Part of being a political leader is representing the people. With his looks and success Arnie is the perfect CA representative. For the mayor of London I would pick someone like Warren Mitchell or Tony Robinson.
Stuart Wiffen, UK

I welcome Arnie's candidacy - at least if he becomes governor then we won't have to put up with any more of his films. As such, I'd like to nominate Guy Ritchie as a candidate for London Mayor.
Colin, UK

We cannot say we hold fair and open elections, if we don't allow certain people to run simply because of a bias against their legal profession. Those who suggest otherwise perhaps are missing the point of America.
B Coleman, Texas, USA

Trivialise political affairs? Good lord - examine much of what are considered to be "political affairs" and then ask who had the cheek to elevate "political affairs" to such lofty heights. I believe Arnold Schwarzenegger would be a great (good) change from what often seems to be a political "in-club". And to his credit, amongst other achievements, he has single-handedly built up a financial empire from nothing. Above all, we (Californians) at this point in time, now that we're "out" by $38 billion we need someone who understands the value of a dollar, and how to maximise it.
Erich Funke, USA

Why not, we have politicians acting like a bunch of cowboys, why not have an actor acting like a politician; all an actor does is read and learn his script, which is written by a script writer, just as we already have George W just learning his "speeches" written for him by a speechwriter what's the difference? Arnold can at least read.
Tony Sorace, Grenada, UK/US

Spin and politicians who talk-the-talk but achieve nothing, are what is creating apathy among the electorate
Simon Watkins, Wales, UK
The problem with having an actor in high office is that his personality can be merely a fascia. On camera he can just playing another character role. Spin and politicians who talk-the-talk but achieve nothing, are what is creating apathy among the electorate. Do we really want Hollywood actors spouting platitudes?
Simon Watkins, Wales, UK

I think Arnie came off sounding pretty good in his interview and yes, that's because he's obviously at ease with the media. But before people judge him as incompetent or stupid or JUST an actor, maybe they should wait to hear his position on the issues. I for one, find him a credible candidate. Now all that remains to be seen is if he can run a credible campaign. Also with regard to HS, UK. If you have that much a problem with Blair, send him on over and I'll vote for him for governor of my state of New Jersey in a heartbeat.
Abu, US

There is no rational reason why a celebrity shouldn't run. Whether it's sensible is another matter. For a country who's cultural, political and international awareness is so appallingly low, I'm hardly surprised. He'll do well because Americans will mistakenly think that they know him by inviting him into their living rooms via tv for so many years. Let's face it though, we in the UK put politicians into positions they have no right to hold: we have Darling who has no experience in transport running our whole roads and trains, we have a Chancellor who's not an economist etc. Which entertainer would I like to see enter politics? Dr. David Starkey.
Tom Franklin, UK

I think that celebrity status as an actor does not qualify someone to lead a state, or even a city. Why should it? What are their credentials? What experience do they have running anything and where do they stand on the issues of the day? To even consider this shows how politically-challenged the American populace is. Would someone like Schwarzenegger to do brain surgery on their mother? He'd be about as qualified to do that as run a state with an economy larger than that of many countries. How about Mick Jagger for governor? This is ludicrous.
Kai-Man, US

He epitomises the American Dream
Thomas Hafner, Austria
Never mind his qualifications. He will have people to do the donkey work. It's his leadership qualities that will be important! Arnie is a true independent that will not have to play to the likes and dislikes of any financial backers. He epitomises the American Dream and will thus be able to have a huge motivational effect on his electorate, which is the very first thing that a country/state in the doldrums needs to get back on its feet. Good luck to Arnie or anyone that can offer these unique qualities/abilities!
Thomas Hafner, Austria

I am so ashamed over this three ringed circus. I do not think acting can prepare a person for such a high position as Governor of California. If Arnold wants to face the "serious media" he should work his way into it by starting with more minor government positions rather than jumping into a race like this blindly. That is what many other actors turned politicians have done. Reagan and Bono are good examples.
Carol, Oregon, USA

They should stick to their chosen profession, and leave politics to others. It seems a lot of them like to further their glory, when they recognition begins to fade.
Antony Forst, England

Ronald Reagan was an actor before he became the iconic 80's American president. I see no reason why Schwarzenegger won't make a good governor in the 00's. He has international popularity, charisma and three decades of celebrity status under his belt. Whether he will change the current apathetic face of the US electorate is something that one should eagerly wait and see. It would do the political scene in the US a whole lot of good if more people turned up to vote.
Kurian Abraham, UK

It is a pity that political parties choose celebrities to run for office, because they know they will get a lot of votes simply because they are well-known. That makes it difficult for unknown, able people with good intentions to get into office.
Peter, Belgium

People seem to be forgetting that Britain has had several "celebrity" MPs as well. Glenda Jackson, for example, as well as Sebastian Coe and ... erm ... Giles Brandreth. Give me Arnie any day.
James Farley, UK

I think it is a cheap trick from the republicans. They use a celebrity as a front man to gain power. And is it not scary how well it works! Arnie's campaign is now in the spotlight - and the campaign against the lawfully elected governor is largely forgotten
Lars Backstrom, USA

As long as he has experience in playing a role of a politician, he should make a perfect Republican governor.
Chandran Sukumaran, Malaysia

As long as they have great ideas and policies to do the job right
Ron Snyder, USA
As long as they have great ideas and policies to do the job right. How many, though, have that kind of experience? What can Arnold do to fix the problems in CA, when many of them are constitutional and the result of conservative energy companies? His new job won't be scripted. It would also be nice if the conservative pundits would now stop whining every time a "liberal" celebrity talks politics. If Arnie thinks he's qualified to sit at the helm of the fifth largest economy on his celebrity status, conservatives have no room to complain about anyone else making political statements.
Ron Snyder, USA

Dear UK and the rest of the universe, We're sorry. It's a phase.
Jim, US

In the run up to the election will he walk the streets terminating voters for the opposition?
Kevin Smith, UK

Why not? He's a US citizen and America is a democracy. His political fate will be up to the voters. I understand he's a moderate Republican with a university degree and an unheralded record of public philanthropy. Plus he's married to a Kennedy. Sounds like a natural to me.
Ray, US

He is affiliated with the Kennedy family, he is a movie star, he barely speaks English -- tell me how he can relate to the American people?
Vanessa, US

Vanessa, US, I don't know why you are criticising Arnie's English competency. He can speak English much better than most of your fellow countrymen, who use "like", "ya know", "yah", "totally" and "whatever" in most sentences at times when it isn't grammatically correct to do so. The reasons against Arnie gaining political office are very substandard, even though I think it remains to be seen if he will solve California's attitude towards taxation and spending that you can get something for nothing.
Graeme Phillips, Germany, normally UK

Hey, come on! It is up to the electorate to elect people that will hold posts. They will make up their mind according their knowledge, perceptions and experiences. There is no exception for Arnold.
Baris Elmaci, Turkey

He will certainly be the most physically fit governor in the US: a good example to all of the obese children of American fast-food culture.
Matt, US

Like any other candidate for office, Schwarzenegger should be judged on the merit of his ideas and ability to see them through to implementation. In that respect, I believe Schwarzenegger will far exceed your average gubernatorial candidate. Ronald Reagan didn't do too poorly in the political realm.
Jeff, USA

Why not? If they have a clean bill and have all the intellectual ability and character to sustain themselves in office. For Arnold, it`s a good try.
Yemisi Agboola, Lagos, Nigeria

Anyone can run for office in this country. Who actually becomes a leader is determined by the populace/voters. So far, we've had a Hollywood actor elected not once, but twice, to serve as our president. Let's see what the Californians decide.

Who better typifies the American dream?
Jim, US
Who better typifies the American dream? Arnold is a naturalized citizen who made it big in America on hard work and a little luck. His experience is more diverse and relevant to being in elected office than anyone else I can think of.
Jim, US

Do Americans understand the difference between an election and a circus?
Gary Chiles, New Zealand

It does trivialize politics! Unfortunately many elections become popularity contests, and because of their chosen field of work, celebrities have an unfair advantage.
Al Guthrie, USA

I'm happy to see Arnold Schwarzenegger run and I think he will make an excellent pick for the California governorship. However, as a first generation American with a foreign family, I do not feel Americans are ready to receive and immigrant for such an important position. Immigrants are sill perceived as second class citizens in the USA and this attitude is rampant among many here.
George, United States

Everyone should get the chance to run for office. The fact that a candidate appeared in movies where hundreds of people are killed should not change that principle. California could do with some fresh blood, figuratively speaking!
Amiel, Belgium

Why not? How would one propose to stop them? Should Lawyers run for office? Should religious people run for office? They are all representatives of a larger public.
Judith, USA

I think that actors are often better at communicating to people. They are also better at listening to people to solve a problem. In this particular instance I think that the people of California know that the U.S. Gov't could relieve some of the budget crisis but a republican congress and president will not help a state with a democratic governor.
Robbie, US

The risk is people will vote for him because he is Arnie, rather than that they have a real confidence in him
Suzanne, Netherlands
It's not a question of whether he is a celebrity or not, but whether he will make a good politician or not! The risk is, of course, that people will vote for him because he is Arnie, rather than that they have a real confidence in him on a political level. But if he proves himself a worthwhile governor, his previous existence as Conan the Terminator should not be an issue.
Suzanne, Netherlands

Well, there is a saying ... 'Politics is just Hollywood for ugly people'. Who's going to say that to Ah-nold?
Paul, US

The public is fickle. The range of comments presented here denigrate career politicians and actors. Granted some politicians are only in it for the money/power, but let's not forget that these people are taking on the thankless task of trying to make YOUR government better.
Michael Shea, Germany

Absolutely not. We must ban celebrities, felons, the wealthy, senior citizens, right-wing extremists, gun-nuts, neo-cons, libertarians, former-drug-users, non-veterans, accused sexual harassers, racists, and anti-abortion fanatics. Our democracy depends on preventing all these unsavoury people from participating in our democracy. Right?
Andrew L, USA

Well, at least he was born in Austria, which means he can't follow up a run for California Governor with a run for President.
Nigel, Canada

When politics today is governed by sound-bites, popularity polls, focus groups and PR spin I'd say being a successful actor made for perfect training.
Lorraine, UK

Let him show the people what he is capable of doing
Liz, Zambia
Arnold is just like everybody else, if he has a dream for the people how do we know? Let him stand and if voted in, let him show the people what he is capable of doing not only in movies but also in politics.
Liz, Zambia

Why should an ex-actor/bodybuilder be any less valid as a political candidate than the ex-teachers, barristers, union officials and businessmen that we elect as MP's. Arnold is an intelligent man with no particular axe to grind, and a high degree of political independence from the usual vested interests & power blocks of American politics. Good luck to the man I say.
Andy Nield, Kent, England

Many people who stand for political office have non-political "daytime" jobs - there's nothing special about actors & celebrities which should rule them out. An independently wealthy governor may less susceptible to back-handers, and *might* just prevent entire areas being run for the benefit of special interest groups. Good luck to him.
Nigel, UK

In such a Mickey Mouse society, I'm surprised that Mickey Mouse himself isn't in the race!
Jan Beardall, UK

Jan Beardall: Mickey is a mouse! He will certainly not want to be seen in the same light as rats and politicians.
Craig H, UK / South Africa

I like Arnold so much and I am praying to meet him one day. I would like him to run because I think he can make a good governor. In his films he is always against the bad guys. Becoming a governor I am sure he will not allow the opposite
Nasiru Tejan, Sierra Leone

Mere celebrity should be no bar to elected office. Only lack of competence, corruption, venality, self interest, stupidity and mean spiritedness - those attributes that characterise so many of the current crop of politicians. As for which celebrity should enter politics? Well, President Bartlett - err Martin Sheen, of course.
Paul, UK

If we limit our options in the search for a decent politician, we may never find one
Jeff, Maine, US
A candidate should not be disregarded just for being a celebrity. A candidate should not be disregarded for being a member of any legal profession. If we limit our options in the search for a decent politician, we may never find one. We surely haven't found one yet.
Jeff, Maine, US

We tend to forget that Arnie is actually quite a bright lad. The reason his early roles cast him as a big muscley idiot was that his English was not very good at the time. This was because he was Austrian not stupid !
B Essada, UK

Ricky Gervais would make a great Deputy PM! Popular with the people, motivational, yet commanding and decisive.
John Hannawin, UK

I can't imagine ever taking him seriously
Robert, England
The problem with actors, or celebs, running for office is complicated. There are issues of credibility and respectability. The chief problem is turning democracy into a circus - if people are turned into celeb-worshippers by tabloids, and then vote for them based on fame, is that right? Would the Beckhams make for good politicians in England just because they're tabloid darlings? Either way, the idea of Arnie as politician is hilarious, and I can't imagine ever taking him seriously. Tim Robbins would perhaps be a better choice, for an actor-politician that could be taken serious.
Robert, England

I'd like to see Brian Blessed as Prime Minister. I've no idea what his politics are, but his ability to overact superbly would enliven any debate.
Al, UK

Well, Arnold's co-star in Predator, Jesse Ventura, ended up being governor of Minnesota. What do Minnesotans think of his governorship?
Dick, Massachusetts, USA

Does Education mean anything anymore? This is an actor for God's sake, with no firm relevant background or experience on the subject. There are thousands of political graduates with no jobs. Sure, he can learn on the job but give the right people the job not people who are willing to use their popularity as a devious tool. God Bless America.
Eric O., UK

Why not? Our government is already full of would-be actors. They simply didn't have the looks or talent to become real actors. At least Arnold won't have to pretend.
Neil, USA/Europe

He could not be any worse than Reagan was as an actor and as politician
GM, Scotland
Guess he could not be any worse than Reagan was as an actor and as politician? But if George W Bush junior can make it to the Whitehouse, then why not Arnie for governor? Still I don't think famous people should go into politics...politics for them is a game and fame thing, they forget or don't know how real life is not a picture for many voters. Maybe if famous people were involved in politics long before they got famous, then maybe ok... because you then know that politics is perhaps their conscience and passion, rather than an attempt to prolong their pose for their cameras.
GM, Scotland

In this case, I think it is rather silly. The reason California is in the fiscal situation it is in, is due to the spending spree of the Liberal Democrats. The Terminator is practically a Kennedy. I don't see how he can possibly help the problem.
Alan, USA

The wonderful thing about democracy is that anyone can stand for office. Whether a 'star' will succeed in getting the political job they want depends on a lot more than their celebrity status. Did brits vote for Glenda Jackson just because she's an Actress? Did the Americans put Ronald Reagan in power because of his fame? In both cases, I sincerely hope the answer is No.
Caroline Brown, England

Anyone with skills and conviction should be allowed to run for office irrespective of whether their previous job was in the entertainment biz. I remember Frank Zappa once stood for a job in an eastern European state but was blocked by the US hierarchy. Would that more like him would populate our political hierarchies!
Phil, UK

If he has any skeletons in his closet, they will certainly be found out now
Sarah, USA
Well, if he has any skeletons in his closet, and what Hollywood celeb does not, they will certainly be found out now. I think Arnold is serious about his politics and wants to make a difference. He is a republican and is likely not to be done any favours by the liberal media.
Sarah, USA

As long as they stand for something. I detest those who use what limelight they already have, just to gain more. As far as Arnold? Well, I like him as an actor, but a republican? Might as well put Charlton Heston in office too as Defence Secretary.
Eric, USA

Maybe we should have it the other way round. Could Tony Blair give up politics and become an actor?
Cindy, England

Cindy, England - I thought he already had?
Russell Coombes, England

Anybody should be allowed to run for office. Whether or not the voters will take them seriously is another issue altogether... As for Arnie? He would definitely have my vote!
Ihlanya, Scotland, UK

Why not? Look at some of the career politicians who make it into power, even to the top of their political party (no names). I vote Jeremy Clarkson for Transport Minister.
Anonymous, UK

Why shouldn't celebs run for office? After all, being famous is just a job to them. We don't bar other occupations, although maybe we should make an exception for lawyers.
Jim, Yorkshire

How about Ronald McDonald as the next President of the USA? He can replace the clown who is in there at the moment.
Martin, London, UK

In all honesty we know more about the lives of celebrities due to their press coverage than we do about the politicians, so shouldn't we feel more comfortable with them in charge?
Sam, UK

They could hardly do a worse job than the lot we have at present
Stephen, UK
Why shouldn't they? If they have coherent policies and aims there's nothing to stop them. Besides they could hardly do a worse job than the lot we have at present.
Stephen, UK

Well, they can't be worse than "career" politicians. Plus, it is always refreshing to see that we have not seen all the potential these actors have to make us laugh. At them.
DJ, Switzerland

I don't think celebrities who genuinely want to work to improve people's quality of life should necessarily be prohibited from seeking office. If they do, though, they should move away from the 'star' persona in order to demonstrate this. Using trademark catchphrases such as "I'll be back" at a press conference makes a mockery of the political process.
Matt, UK

There's no real difference from chief execs of large companies running for office
K. Kirkham, UK
Celebrities have as much right to stand for public office as the rest of us. And if people vote for them, well, that's democracy in action. There's no real difference from chief execs of large companies running for office. As well as being entertainment and occasionally art, the film industry is also a multi-billion dollar business.
K. Kirkham, UK

No, they shouldn't because we already have enough clowns in politics.
John, South Africa (living in London)

Celebrities have just as much right as anybody else to enter into politics.
Tasha, UK

An actor could prove to be an unwise choice as their acting skills may be used to cover up any lies they might wish to tell. I don't think Arnie would worry anybody though. Also, which drama school did Tony Blair go to?
Anonymous, Spain

Anonymous, Spain: I think Blair probably went somewhere that taught method acting, because he's so psyched up for the role, he's managed to convince himself that what he's doing is right.

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