Saturday, 25 October 2008

Other People's Elections

"Why should we care who America votes in" said a colleague as she quickly flipped through the pages of the newspaper dedicated to the US election, "doesn't have any affect on us".
What my co-worker and others who are complaining about the amount of coverage given to the White House race don't seem to understand is that in this time of globalisation, what happens in the major nations DOES have an affect on all of us.
Whoever is running the Government in the likes of America, Russia, China, Iran or Pakistan has direct consequences far outside of its own borders so we should be taking an interest of the make-up of the people making the decisions in these countries.
Whether Obama or McCain find themselves in the White House would mean little to us if their decision making was restricted to just matters inside America but they are not, they make decisions that have direct consequences for other countries through conflict, diplomatic efforts, financial support or the withdrawal of support.
The present fiasco in the World financial markets shows just what happens when American money markets turn bad which has hit everyone, not just Americans, and is proof that we all have a stake on whose hand is on the American rudder.
Who is guiding the massive Russian arsenal is as important as who is guiding our own if Moscow decides to flex its recently rediscovered muscles, as is staying on the good side of emerging superpower China who is rapidly gaining the ability to shape a new World order.
Our own British Government has had a direct affect on the citizens in Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ireland in recent years regardless of who these citizens had ruling them at the time.
For better or worse, we are all networked together and while it is true we don't have a voice in the elections of other countries, to think that they don't affect us while we sit in our homes moaning about the BBC banging on yet again about an election thousands of miles away, is completely wrong.


Nog said...

Great point here Lucy! There's little one can say that'll annoy me more than "It's not your business how I vote." That's what they say, but it is very much my business who others, especially those around me, think should have the authority to arrest and kill me.

Further, I completely agree that just about everyone in the world has a bit of a stake in who becomes the U.S. President. Let others be uninterested at their own peril.

You should want to influence the U.S. elections for the better, even if you're not an American. But I would like to strongly warn that external attempts to influence elections backfire more often than not. I'd suggest, if you were in a bar with an American who loved McCain, you take a "carrot" (as opposed to a "stick") strategy. If some German says "we'll hate America forever if McCain gets elected" that will rightfully irritate any American. But if he says "we will think that America is a much more awesome nation when Obama gets elected", he'll be far more persuasive and less likely to offend.


Anonymous said...

That's the whole trouble, that uninformed people think that America is an 'awesome' nation.

It is a corrupt, militaristic, greed-driven, racist, class-riddled country filled with large numbers of religious fanatics and ultra-nationalists.

America and world peace are mutually exclusive.

May America go bankrupt soon!


Anonymous said...

david g.,

I agree with you. America, like your country (I don't care which one you call yours) does have corruption, greedy people, racists, classes, and religious fanatics.

Tell us which country doesn't have corruption (after you first define corruption - it actually varies by culture).

Tell us which country doesn't have greedy people (the poorest African and South American countries are led by people that horde wealth while the masses are mired starve).

What country doesn't have racists?

Tell us the difference in a nationalist and an unltra-nationalist?

Which nation doesn't have classes?

Tell us which nation doesn't have religious fanatics?

Again, I agree with you America, like all other nations is greedy, racist, class based, corrupt, and has religious fanatics.


Falling on a bruise said...

I have to agree with Q agreeing with david. America is not exclusive in having these kinds of people within their populations.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Q! All countries have them. But America has them in such large numbers.

In fact, judged by the actions of America, they appear to predominate there!