Friday, 4 January 2008

USA - Vote 2008 (Global Edition)

This years elections in America are quite important, not just in terms of the US domestic political agenda but because of the effect the winner will have on the world stage; peace in the Middle East, poverty and aids in Africa, global climate. As the only superpower on the block the world has some serious vested interests in the outcome. In the spirit of democracy I might go as far as suggest that we all get to vote although there might be some complaints about that one so the best we can do is to attempt to influence from afar.

Now I'm going to assume that you're a democrat (Republicans can stop reading and find something else, perhaps a page on guns, you people like that kind of thing) and that you're about to, well over the next few months, select your new leader. You have a great opportunity ahead of you, Hilary Clinton, possibly the first female president in your countries history and with a political background that means there is a chance she will be nothing like Maggie Thatcher (although she has already tried to claim that mantle). The great thing about Hilary is that you vote for her and you get Bill too, he seems to be virtually running her campaign, the idea that will stop as soon as she's in the Whitehouse is a myth. Barak Obama, what a breath of fresh air and of course a chance to be the first African American in the Whitehouse -- but why is it that all I can think about is how he's managed to make so much money in such little time including taking lots of money from the medical insurance people?

I'm afraid in an election where there is so much possibility for an amazing first in American politics my backing (but alas not my vote) has to go to John Edwards. White, middle-classed and middle-aged but fortunately not middle-minded, he looks like everything I should hate about an American politician. Slick, shiny white teeth; you never see him anywhere without his wife or family in-tow you may as well stamp 'All American' to his forehead and lather him up for the patriots to drool over but he has a political zeal missing in either other candidate. His position on campaign donations show that he is not in the hands of the big corporations as do amazing statements like:

"I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy"

It is early days upon which to make a pronouncement but at this stage a vote for Clinton and perhaps for Obama, even though that if either are elected it will be a major first, seems to be a vote for the status quo. A vote for Edwards, a man like all the others who have held the office of president, looks like a vote for change.

I may be wrong, I often am, and you really can ignore me with impunity. I also don't think that Edwards has a chance in hell of winning the nomination but if he forms part of any new democratic government then I shall have renewed faith in American democracy.


maggie the cat said...

I agree with you about Edwards. Did you know there are 66 lobbyists for each member of Congress? Despicable.

dwlt said...

The fact that none of the commentators were talking about Edwards made me think he would be the real surprise of the nomination process, though I think he'll end up being the VP. Hopefully.

Paolo said...

@Maggie - I completely agree, the European Parliament is similarly bogged down by lobbyists to the extent that it is amazing that anything gets done (well, little actually does get done).

@dwlt - I'm not sure if it's my imagination but I get the feeling that Edwards is trying to side himself up alongside Obama so if he does win the nomination Edwards might be his running mate and so be VP after the election. It's an intriguing prospect but deep down I just can't see it happening, will enough people vote for such a pairing? It'd be interesting to see a poll that pitched Obama/Edwards against say for instance Giuliani/Romney.