Strange. In my code editor in IE8 Preview mode, a different doctype makes all the difference, but in a real IE8 it indeed makes no difference -- the problem stays, even with a standards doctype.
That means that, assuming you want spaces between the items, you will have to rewrite the CSS, taking out the double :hover lines. The good news is that that is really easy if you follow my tutorial, even if I say so myself. It is the last tut linked from my signature page.
Let me know when you have succeeded, if you will.
How to: Target IE in, Position in, Center in, Create a Fixed ('Sticky') Footer with, and Create a Drop-Down/Fly-Out Menu with CSS: Website Laten Maken Amsterdam