mardi, novembre 04, 2008

Democracy in the USA - Nov 4th 2008

A lot of ink has been used to discuss about Democracy in Africa, in Russia (see Courrier International "Et pourtant elle avance" ). Where does it stand? is it making any progress? We spend time discussing about how Russian Authorities have welcomed and given sufficient leeway to foreign observers, about the transparency of the vote counting or the existence of multipartite political system.

What about the USA? The States have been preaching democracy in Irak but what is happening in their own backyard? Well, since the 2000 elections and the runoff between Al Gore and Bush that ended with a decision of the Supreme Court while people were still recounting votes! 8 years ago, we can hear some unprobable and surrealistic testimonies (on BBC podcasts for instance or on Spanish TV) that the machines that counted votes in 2000 had not been changed, or that people that decided to vote earlier has encountered some problems with their votes recorded for other candidates or that a voting ticket is made of 7 pages and that voting for your specific candidate is a puzzle. Apparently people queue up during hours to be able to vote during a working day and some people just give up voting as they'd rather go to work. Who can we believe? Is it Democracy?

Tonight, we'll know who will run the USA, still a great power in this world. For weeks, Obama was given winner with 8 points ahead of Mc Cain in polls. Who will win this election? I can't help thinking of the French election in 2002, when Lionel Jospin, the left-wing candidate was given as the winner in polls... That year, Jacques Chirac (right-wing) won against Jean-Marie Le Pen, the right-wing extremist! Had people been too lazy to go and vote? Did people think before the election that everything was sorted and that they did not need to go and vote, was there a sort of conspiration to male the right-wing win?... I don't know although I think there must be some kind of combination of various factors of that kind.

So, is that what we will experience today/tonight? Well, although I'd wish Obama could win not only because he gave me the impression of having a presidential stature (at least more than Mc Cain) but also somehow for what his election would simbolize for Black people in the States, I truly fear that the "a priori" and fears of so-called Average American people might weight more than all of this. That's what this little video from the Guardian suggests, when a manager of an ethanol plant (supposed to be favoured by Obama's plan) compared the Democrat candidate to the Antichrist.

We'll see...

1 commentaire:

Grosenbaf a dit…

In the end, it was Obama who won... so, for once, polls were right.

Seems that many factors have arised together that broke down the expectations of the powerful and wealthy (an impopular war, economic crisis, oil dependence) and ended up with the election of a "newbie".

Let's see how he will perform from now on...