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If The World Could Vote … 2 comments

This reminds me of that song …

I'd like to teach the world to vote
In perfect harmony
I'd like to hold it in my arms and keep it company
I'd like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills "Ah, peace throughout the land"

But in lieu of teaching the world to vote, here is a web site that is collecting, in a highly non-scientific manner, votes from around the world. A world opinion on the US election. Kinda neat … worth visiting.

Check out the bar graphs on the results page. Some surprising stuff there. Of the countries that I have a particular interest in …

Canada is 88.4% in favour of Obama, out of 73,183 votes thus far. I'm disappointed this percentage isn't higher but, hey, we just re-elected Stephen Harper with a bigger minority government so he could make cabinet ministers out of one in four of his MPs. To govern 33 million people, apparently Mr. Harper needs a cabinet of 38 ministers, larger than that deployed by the UK (22), the US (15), and most other Western nations. He needs a lot of help, obviously.

Denmark is 95.2% in favour of Obama, out of 9,836 votes. My experience of Denmark is skewed as a tad more right wing than this.

Iran is 80.6% in favour of Obama, out of 3,270 votes. Fascinating. Too bad they don't skew this way for their own elections.

Lebanon is 87.9% in favour of Obama, with 406 votes. Maybe the electricity isn't on long enough for them to build up voting momentum.

Liberia has offered 100% of its five votes to Obama. See note above re. electricity. Burkina Faso and Burundi have each managed seven votes, 71.4% and 85.7% in favour of Obama, respectively.

Mauritius (pop. 1.25 million people) weighs in with a whopping 2,118 votes @ 92.2% in favour of Obama. Seriously?!? 2,118 votes? 1,712 more than Lebanon? No wonder the Internet connection is sketchy – everyone is using up the bandwidth voting at this site.

Sri Lanka (pop. 21.1 million people) can only manage 269 votes and tilts towards Obama as well, by about 92.2%. My dear Sri Lankans seem almost lazy by comparison to the Mauritians.

Uganda, with its 179 votes, is also in favour of Obama, by 92.2%. Call me crazy, but I don't find this especially comforting, somehow.

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Oops – My Feminist Slip Is Showing 1 comment

Here is Robin Morgan's recent take on HR Clinton Vs. B Obama. I don't always agree with Morgan, but on this she has struck a chord with me.

Speaking personally, and from an arm's length perspective up north here, there is something vaguely unsettling about the rush to Obama and the dismissal of HRC. Obama is brilliant, engaging, and very Kennedy-esque – what is not to like in that? Until reading this, I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

It is the double standard, the mantle of legitimacy that a male merely assumes and that a woman has to stridently re-draw and re-draw for the electorate. The constant reminders of her qualifications start to sound defensive … what a hard road she has in front of her to stay away from any territory that can allow the subconsciously biased media to dismiss her in the favour of the more camera and microphone ready opponent.

The US, and the World, would not suffer from an Obama presidency. He would be an excellent choice. But the US, and the World, will have lost an opportunity to re-align our gender and sex-role perceptions dramatically, and to finally challenge the patriarchy that has caused so much damage worldwide. And this can't help but benefit everyone, regardless of race. 

Unfortunately, I have no insight into rogue's excellent question about putting HRC up against John McCain. I'm just not close enough to the US political machine to respond. Lots can happen between now and November, and HRC is a clever and talented politician. Isn't it interesting that political skills get praised in men, yet seem somehow unappealing and unattractive in women? Men have "spirited comebacks" and women "claw their way into contention". Interesting. I'll end with a quote from Robin Morgan's piece …

I’d rather say a joyful Hello to all the glorious young women who do identify with Hillary, and all the brave, smart men—of all ethnicities and any age—who get that it’s in their self-interest, too. She’s better qualified. (D’uh.) She’s a high-profile candidate with an enormous grasp of foreign- and domestic-policy nuance, dedication to detail, ability to absorb staggering insult and personal pain while retaining dignity, resolve, even humor, and keep on keeping on. (Also, yes, dammit, let’s hear it for her connections and funding and party-building background, too. Obama was awfully glad about those when she raised dough and campaigned for him to get to the Senate in the first place.)

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