Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day

Watching the events of this years presidential election from abroad has been great. It's wonderful to be able to watch television at night without being bombarded by thousands of ads. The news is able to sum up the main highlights in about 2 minutes and then move on to other stories.

What is the most interesting is that everybody seems interested in the outcome of the election and can tell you exactly who is running - I doubt many Americans could tell you who ran in the 2007 French election or the 2008 Zimbabwean election. Of course depending on what country I'm in I can't always tell what the news is saying but just seeing the faces of John McCain and Barack Obama on the television in France or England or Germany or wherever I am shows the global interest and concern over the next US president. I even had somebody tell me that the right to vote should be opened to non-US citizens given the impact it will have on the whole world.

By far my favorite quote from the election this year didn't even come from the presidential candidates or vice-presidential candidates instead it came from Mike Huckabee during the Republican National Convention:
'Barack Obama's excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to
hundreds of thousands of people who don't even vote or pay taxes here.'
It seems the former governor is unaware that there are millions of Americans that live outside the US and still maintain the right to vote and pay taxes. Trying to find the actual number of Americans living in Europe though isn't the easiest thing. Turns out Americans living abroad are not counted in the census as it would not be cost-effective. The only Americans that are counted during the census are members of the military or government employees which are likely only a small fraction of all expats. The only metrics I could find are from 1999.

I'll end today with the following public service announcement: For those of you in the US please go out and vote after reading this if you haven't already done so.


Anonymous said...

Will get out to vote today - then sit back and wonder whether promises made during the campaign can be met.

leave for my Golf at the Gulf trip tomorrow. Will have internet access since Dave can't be far from his techno gizzmo's.

I decided to do a blog the old-fashion way - on paper.

Have a good day.


Anonymous said...

I made it to the polls this morning!!

Amy said...

I brought the whole family out to vote this morning. The babe almost knocked over one of the privacy booths!

Anonymous said...

I voted at 7Am - I was number 61. M voted at 5:30 with little m. She was number 500 and something.