The Global Electoral College

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At the Economist.com, they’re conducting a global internet election on the US Presidential election. They’ve assigned electoral votes for each country, and so far Obama has 8,842 electoral votes to McCain’s 32. It’s a landslide. Obama seems to be averaging about 80% of the vote in most countries. Only Georgia is strongly in favor of McCain, with Cuba as leaning towards him. I guess McCain’s pledge to help rebuild Georgia worked. As for Cuba, I don’t understand the attraction.

I’m surprised at the results. I’ve always seen readers of the Economist as conservative. Maybe they are. But for whatever reason, they’re feeling Obama fever.

I’ve often heard my non-American friends lament that the US elections should be open to the world, since it impacts their countries as well. It’s an interesting notion.  And a sentiment I completely understand.

Yet, I don’t know if the results would change much. Even after a deeply unpopular Iraq War began, leaders around the world who supported the war got re-elected, and leaders who were against the war were not. In particular, Australia, the UK, Italy, Japan all retained their pro-war governments, while the anti-war German Chancellor was replaced by a hawk. Then as the war continued, the French and the Canadians went further right.

Bush has been abysmal, and polls show that nearly all the Americans who voted for him regret their choice. But here’s the thing. Before you start complaining about how you want to get in on my country’s elections, why don’t you make sure to elect a progressive government in your own country first?

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