For what it’s worth, here’s my 2 cents. by underground

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of it leading news bulletins. I’m sick of it on the front page of the New Zealand Herald’s world section. I’m sick of everyone blogging about it. I’m sick of the ridiculous scandals. I’m sick of the he said/she said. Im sick of trying to understand the system. I’m sick of explaining to others a system that I don’t fully understand. I’m sick of the pointless debates. I’m sick of the speeches. I’m sick of the last four months and I’m sure I’ll be sick of the next nine or so months.

I’m sick of the American presidential elections. I’m sick of the Democratic Primaries. I’m sick of George Bush, but I am also sick of Clinton, Obama and McCain. I’m sick of caring about an election, I can’t even vote in.

So for what it’s worth, here’s my 2 cents.

I’ll admit, Obama actually impresses me. Sure, I’m over the speeches, the charisma and that bloody ‘change’ shit. Let’s face it, even Obama will be somewhat status quo. There will not be the radical overhaul of the American political system that the States and the world could really do with. Their electoral system is fucked! Voters have an option between two parties, with more similarities than differences. It seems to me that people slavishly follow one or the other with the same rational as one would support a baseball team. Obama is unlikely to push for a change in their system to a more democratic system like New Zealand’s MMP or Australia’s STV, which would break up the monopoly in power held currently between the Democrats and Republicans. Most overseas people do not know that there are other parties and independents, basically because the system is skewed to ensure these parties hardly ever gain seats in either the Senate or the House, Joe Lieberman being a current exception. Why would people vote for a party that could never obtain seats? How many people do not vote because the two parties do not represent their views? Surely a democracy requires most people to be represented by parties in the houses of parliament, and in my view the two party American system therefore is hardly a democracy. While I can not claim to be an expert on the matter, it appears to me that many American voters either vote for the lesser of two evils, or do not vote at all.

Perhaps this is why Obama appeals to me, and of course many Americans. He does continuous preach ‘change’ and perhaps he really truly does represent change. His ethnicity aside, he is not particularly status quo, he is young, he has experience not in politics but in life. He is not a politician. He does not represent the past, like Hillary Clinton or John McCain do, but the future. He is not the old Democrat party. Perhaps this is the reason, he has proved popular with youth voters, and independents.

Americans must also be aware that Obama is very popular overseas. Of course what the world thinks shouldn’t really matter to most Americans, he is after all seeking to become your president. But bear in mind that your nation has a huge impact on world affairs. And the actions of your current Commander in Chief has left your nation very unpopular abroad. So why does the world like Obama? I cannot speak for the world, but I think most people are encouraged by Obama’s commitment to dialogue, not just with Americas friends and Allies (that have been ignored these past 7-8 years) but even to speak to hostile nations leaders. Which to most people seems like common sense. Where has not talking to Castro, Kim Jong Ill, Ahmedinejad, Chavez and Co. got America? Nowhere. Isolation and embargoes do not work. They never have. Why would they? Obama promises a new tact, one that can only be more affective than previous policies.

I suppose the fact that Obama is African American does also impress a lot of people across the world. Perhaps it is because we stand in amazement that a country that prides itself on liberty, equality, freedom and democracy seems only capable of providing those ideals for rich, white, males. Rosa Parks was not that long ago! Obama does represent Martin Luther King’s dream, in many peoples opinion, in that here is a black man potentially about to become your head of state. As far as the world is concerned, America has finally grown up, and moved past its bigotry. Of course this is a gross oversimplification, but it is somewhat true, as far as I’m concerned. The fact that his greatest opposition is a female, furthers the idea that America has matured. Unless McCain is elected…

Call me cynical, but I do think that it is only because of George W Bush that America has such a historic election coming up. More could not have gone wrong if he had tried, and Americans are keen for a change. No disrespect to either Clinton or Obama, but I don’t think Americans would be ready to vote for anything other than another white man, if it weren’t for the train wreck that is the Bush presidency. This should not take away from the strength of their candidacy, but many voters are seeking something different. That is why Obama has succeeded. I think Clinton’s success has more to do with her husband. The fact she counts her time as first lady during her husband’s two terms as experience for her shows that she wants to appeal to voters as an extension of Bill.

So I do hope Obama will prevail. To be honest I don’t trust Hillary. I really do think that in any other country Hillary would not have got this far. I think we all would’ve seen straight through her. Does she not seem so fake? Her laugh is so carefully orchestrated, I think the Daily Show illuminated that one for me. And the crying when she was down? Do you think that maybe her team asked a focus group whether that would impress voters before she did it? How did it not backfire? The way she seems to act tough when it calls for it (obliterating Iran?), and soft on other occasions. She changes her mind often enough, and plays the man more often than the ball. She would not make it in other countries. I’m not sexist, I’m a Helen Clark fan, but Hillary is as fake as she is incompetant.

Alright, I think that’s all the rant 2 cents buys you nowadays, things are becoming so expensive!

Oh, and damn you Pennsylvania, now you’ve given Clinton a reason to keep this circus show going for a few more weeks. Thanks a lot!


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[…] Parties must win an electorate seat to be represented. So despite the Greens Party receiving the third highest amount of votes in most opinion polls, and 120,000 votes in the last election, they would not receive a single seat. New Zealand First got 130,000 votes in 2005, but with Winston Peters dipping out on Tauranga, these votes would be wasted under FFP. Voters are disenfranchised. Anyone following the American Presidential elections should see this as a glaring truth (I cover this extensively here). […]

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