World Perspective of Barack Obama

teeb

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As a percentage of registered voters voting the United States is ahead of most European countries including those in Western Europe. Check out the latest National Geographic for the article.

Yep, the percentage of people who actually vote in the UK is shocking. More vote for Big Brother and Britain's Got Talent than do in the UK elections.

As to the questions :

1. Hard not to! But yes, I'm interested in politics so kept track via a fair number of websites and newspapers, chiefly the BBC and the Guardian.

2. The result doesn't change my perception of Joe Average American - as I've said elsewhere, every American I've met in person has been lovely and charming, even if they do ask me if I'm friends with the Queen.

I have to admit I do look slightly more positively on the country as a whole now, though, but to be fair I would have done that no matter who won.
 

WillDAQ

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For those that would like to answer, I am interested in the following:

1) Did you folow the presidential election in any capacity?

2) Does the result change your feelings or opinions about America in any way?

1) It's spelled "follow"...

No seriously,

1) Yes, through the Daily Show and Live BBC coverage* on the night

2) I can kind of see why Bush would do well, as there are parts of the US where the gun totin' gay shooting abortion banning hard line plays well (What always worries me about the US is that there are enough of those sorts of people to command a majority).

However compared to, for example, most politicians in the UK (who are nothing if not slick), Bush appears to be an ignorant, arrogant, cowboy dipshit. While the idea that Obama was a bad candidate because he was a bit too intellectual just boggled the mind.

Hence for the last 8 years many people round the world have been at a complete loss as to what you all see in him. To be honest he's been a bit of a joke on the international stage, the "we're a superpower, fuck you" stratagem gets old and throws away any good will you could expect from most countries.

Finally however you've picked someone who's a little more to our liking, Obama is a smooth operator capable of political maneuvering beyond Bush or McCain, he comes across as both honest and clever.

In fact to be honest he'll serve you far better on the international scene than McCain ever could.

* I suspect any republican would consider the BBCs coverage of Liberal bais, however compared to most of the US the UK is of a liberal bias!
 

watto

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As a percentage of registered voters voting the United States is ahead of most European countries including those in Western Europe. Check out the latest National Geographic for the article.

Yep, the percentage of people who actually vote in the UK is shocking. More vote for Big Brother and Britain's Got Talent than do in the UK elections.

I was fully aware that the US did not have compulsory voting and that voter turnout wasn't a huge %... But the UK? I presumed it would be compulsory to vote there, is it not?

Australia: Once you're over 18 it's compulsory to register and compulsory to vote. If you don't register, you keep getting letters from the electoral office every couple of months and if you don't vote, it's a $50 fine.

In our Federal election last year, turnout of registered voters was 94.76% and I don't believe that includes postal or absentee votes...

http://aec.gov.au/Elections/federal_elections/2007/Voter_Turnout.htm
 
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Hiro11

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I'm a suburban professional dad from Chicago... my view:

1. Yes, of course.

2. No. I'm definitely glad Obama was elected for any number of reasons (I did, after all, vote for the guy). However:

2a. I think a lot of the hysterical anti-Bush sentiment and anti-American stereotypes that many people have both in America and (particularly) abroad were never fair. To me, Obama's election doesn't repudiate anything because I don't believe what his election supposedly disproves (that America is uniquely and endemically racist, backward, insular, stupid... blah, blah blah) was ever true.

2b. Likewise, the ridiculously messianic greeting that Obama is getting in the press both here and outside of the US is peurile and bound to lead to disappointment. After years of reading consistently biased, misinformed, misleading, overly simplified or completely inaccurate articles and commentaries in the European and Australian press about America in the years since 9-11, I've come to the considered conclusion that most European and Australian journalists know absolutely nothing about America. America has been simply a blank screen on which they have projected what they want to see. Judging by the articles and commentaries published since Obama's election, that hasn't changed.
 

Hiro11

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I was fully aware that the US did not have compulsory voting and that voter turnout wasn't a huge %... But the UK? I presumed it would be compulsory to vote there, is it not?
Actually, Australia is one of the very few countries that have and enforce compulsory voting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_voting

65% is higher than the last two UK general elections:
http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/turnout.htm

As well as higher than the last several French elections:
http://www.idea.int/vt/country_view.cfm?CountryCode=FR

..but lower than Germany and Italy:
http://www.idea.int/vt/country_view.cfm?CountryCode=DE
http://www.idea.int/vt/country_view.cfm?CountryCode=IT
 

optimusprime

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2. The result doesn't change my perception of Joe Average American - as I've said elsewhere, every American I've met in person has been lovely and charming, even if they do ask me if I'm friends with the Queen.

Well, are you friends with the Queen?
 

teeb

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I was fully aware that the US did not have compulsory voting and that voter turnout wasn't a huge %... But the UK? I presumed it would be compulsory to vote there, is it not?

Nope, the opposite. Not at all compulsory, and so not a huge number vote. (Off the top of my head, Australia's the only country I can think of with compulsory voting).

Example : in the 70s, Thatcher let Scotland have a referendum on independence. 52% voted for it, and 48% against. However, only 63.6% of the eligible population voted - on an issue that is (theoretically) more important than the next leader of the country!

Hiro11 said:
As well as higher than the last several French elections:
http://www.idea.int/vt/country_view.cfm?CountryCode=FRp

Your statistics mislead, sir!

The first table on that page is the first round of the French Presidential elections - you vote for whoever you want out of all the candidates. Yes, the turnout is quite low here. After that comes the second round, where you only have a choice of the two most popular in the first round.

If you look at the second table on that page, the voter turnout is higher than the US's was yesterday, at between 77 and 84%.

optimusprime said:
Well, are you friends with the Queen?

We take tea and scones together each Monday on the Buckingham Palace lawn.
 

Walsh_e

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1. I kept up with it yeah, mostly through the BBC and through the Bugle Audio Newspaper. I stayed up to listen to the election results as well, mainly just to make sure that McCain didn't get voted, it would have been horrifying to think that Palin was one misplaced pool ball away from being American leader!

2. It hasn't change my opinions on America overnight but it has given me hope for the future, hopefully we will see a change in American foreign policy, less trying to police the world and more of trying to find solutions that don't involve invading countries for no reason, hell maybe an end to the war on terror (which could never be won, to quote David Cross "Its like having a war on jealousy").

My main worry now is if Obama manages to smooth out America's relations with the rest of the world how will this effect the comedy stylings of Hugo 'crackers from Caracas' Chavez!
 

tigger

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Now that you mention it, the television coverage i was watching mentioned that in one state (can't remember which one) that out of the total African american population in that state over 95% voted for Obama and the majority of caucasians in that state voted for McCain. It was only one state but it was still disappointing to see none the less. Overall though it seemed as if the better man won.
I don't think that's anything too surprising. Black voters typically vote Democrat in an overwhleming majority (90-95%). Overall, Obama did a surprisingly good job getting white votes. Not "good for a black candidate", but "good for a Democrat."
 

Cobol74

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For those that would like to answer, I am interested in the following:

1) Did you folow the presidential election in any capacity?
Hell yes! BBC and Comedy Central for the lighter side - Sunday Times for the articles.

2) Does the result change your feelings or opinions about America in any way?
USA has some serious Foreign Policy Issues that need to be thought about - I'd have preferred McCain but I must admit Palin was commpletely crackers. If foreign policy improves I will be happier but it is too soon to say.
 

IceBone

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1) MSNBC live stream

2) The only thing that did disappoing me was how close it was 52%-46% of the popular vote.

Also, it's a historical event. I heard it being pronounced with an an all day and here as well. Get it right! It's only a, when the h sound is silent, like in the word herb.
 

NooDle

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^Icebone, you REALLY need to lighten up on the proper use of grammar/spelling.

Yeah I know we don't like textspeak, but who gives a crap really (aside from you)
 

IceBone

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I'm not talking about just here, but on tv as well. You'd expect that a (respected) news anchor would know grammar.
 

NooDle

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who would expect that? I wouldn't :roll:
 

NooDle

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^ lol. pwned
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Also, it's a historical event. I heard it being pronounced with an an all day and here as well. Get it right! It's only a, when the h sound is silent, like in the word herb.

Both grammatical variations are considered correct, as they are both quite common. I personally prefer "a historic", but "an historic" is widely used and as such is considered part of the vernacular in North America.
 

CyberMonkey

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1) Yes, quite extensively. Also, our media here was very interested in the events, with all major tv channels having "election night" coverage. In university cities, schools and even pubs did election night coverage and parties. Almost everyone I know at least had a little interest in who it would be. Everybody is glad Obama made it.

2) not really, he won with a very small margin which means that the country is as divided as ever. It seems like some people even still like Palin, go figure...
 

IceBone

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Both grammatical variations are considered correct, as they are both quite common. I personally prefer "a historic", but "an historic" is widely used and as such is considered part of the vernacular in North America.
Considering how much you've already butchered the Queen's English, I'm not surprised. :p
 
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