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Tuesday, Nov 2, 2004, 7:49 pm

Electorate tourism, part III

By Jessica Clark
What about...oh, I don't know...the opinions of people in other countries? After all, they'll have to live with this decision, too. Another four years of hating? Let's check the papers:

The Guardian
"Analysts on the BBC say it is possible, looking at the returns, that there could be a 269-269 electoral college vote tie with Mr Bush winning Florida and Mr Kerry taking Ohio"

Oh, bloody hell.

Le Monde Diplomatique:

This is as much a referendum on the current administration as an election. Bush has two rare, if not unique, distinctions: he was elected even though he received fewer votes than his opponent and he is the son of a former president. His enthronement was less democratic than dynastic. The election result conferred no particular mandate on him, and certainly no endorsement for a terrible leap to the right, an imperial inflection of the international order or the militarisation of American society and foreign policy.

The Chechen Times
No surprises here; US political reporting provided by AP--globalization in action. But this headline sounds familiar: Liberal MP??Compares Putin With Hitler

OpenDemocracy
Lots of interesting commentary from around the world. Here's one excerpt from a roundup on Iranian attitudes from Persian blogger Hossein Derakhsha:
Bush's rhetoric has attracted many young Iranians who are tired of the strict Islamic codes of behaviour, the regime???s stronghold on the media, and the high unemployment rates. They are looking for quick solutions. The removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan and of Saddam Hussein in Iraq has convinced many that the only way to achieve freedom is to topple the regime by military action or some sort of coup.

One visitor to my blog commented: "maybe re-electing Bush would be bad for Americans, but it would be good for Iran. He is the only chance for getting rid of the Islamic regime."

other tidbits from this site:

  • The Chinese government finds it more strategic to be friendly towards the Bush adminstration, but "In fact, America-bashing has been quite in vogue among intellectuals and media professionals given the large proportion of prime time news devoted to the US on Chinese television."
  • The Romanian elections coincide with U.S. elections, so they often follow U.S. elections closely. "Romania is among the most pro-American nations. It is not rare to hear politicians, analysts and the media calling for 'US-style electoral campaigns' here. But when we hear news that the so-called independent press in America takes sides in the election, it is seen as a sign of weakness."
  • Brazilian media have called the US election system 'worthy of a Third World country," contrasting it to the successful Brazilian experience with a new electronic voting system.
  • In Nepal, they have lost hope, and don't give a damn about U.S. elections: "Media reporting on US election this year has been marked by an awesome lack of attention. In a remote and desperate land ???the global??? seems to lose meaning. The Nepali news media is too busy covering the hot blood being spilled in the unending cycle of violence that sustains the power equation of our predatory state in the capital and the ruthless power of the Maoists in rural areas."

Good god--lots of AP coverage in the English language newspapers around the world. Whatever happened to regional opinion?

Palestinian Times:
"I think it's time that Arab-Americans should wake up to a new strategy that would consolidate their efforts and use a revolutionary attitude by detaching themselves from the classical voting as democratic or republican and vote for Ralph Nader."

Ha'aretz:
American Palestinians lament supporting Bush in 2000

The Australian:
...even if Bush wins, the neo-conservative dream at its most fanciful is surely over. The neo-cons will remain; they are too clever and too prominent on Washington's rive droite to disappear. But the main question will be which representatives of other conservative foreign policy traditions -- particularly realism -- will be able to re-establish influence. The result is a paradox: A president who has devoted his energies to governing on behalf of conservative America and who is regarded by many on the Right as being the most conservative person to reach the White House has ended up creating deep divisions on the Right.

Africa Business Daily:
America--get over yourself.
Lead headline: Sudan blocks access to refugees

Haitian Times:
In New York, the New York Immigration Coalition led an 11-member mobilization drive to register voters. In Miami, such unions as SEIU 1199 and Unite for Dignity have been training their workers door-to-door to speak to potential voters about the need to register, registering them and educating them about the system.
Some Haitian Republicans traveled to Haiti in late September to register U.S. citizens living on Hispaniola by the Oct. 8 deadline so they could send in absentee ballots.

Samoa Observer:
Other concerns prevail:

So what happened to Miss Samoa, Faleupolu Nofoasaefa Tamasese?
That's the question many will be asking today.
It comes after her surprise failure to win any place or category in the Miss South Pacific pageant in Utulei, American Samoa.
"It was a tough competition and it was hard to judge a winner," said one judge, who spoke on condition of not being identified.

"I think the girls were well prepared. It was obvious that every one of them came here to win."













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Jessica Clark is a writer, editor and researcher, with more than 15 years of experience spanning commercial, educational, independent and public media production. Currently she is the Research Director for American University’s Center for Social Media. She also writes a monthly column for PBS’ MediaShift on new directions in public media. She is the author, with Tracy Van Slyke, of Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media (2010, New Press).

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