Tuesday, November 4, 2008

American Elections 2008

In what is certainly a historic presidential election, today the Americans will choose their new president, a post that was occupied by one of the worst presidents in history for the last eight years. A host of tough challenges will face the new president that includes (but not limited too) a very weak economy, a lost war, a war being lost, instability in many regions of the world, and an environmental crisis that may affect the life on Earth as we know it.

While a huge contrast can be found between the main two candidates, there are still many undecided voters according to the most recent polls. It really is amazing how someone could be undecided in the very last day between two completely different paths. On what bases such a person will base his choice in the last hours, except for tossing up a coin? This way seems the only legitimate one for someone who couldn't make up his mind for that long.

One one hand we have McCain, a conservative, who seems to support every kind of war just because he's a war veteran. Although he had been for so long doing politics, he seemed lacking a lot of experience in his campaign that he chose a woman who knows almost nothing about politics to be his vice president and a potential president, he acted foolishly calling to cancel a debate so as to help the economy (obviously he wasn't successful), and he spoke about his opponent much more than he spoke about himself!

On the other hand, Barack Obama was able to build on of the strongest campaigns ever, and he seemed to be more experienced and stable throughout the whole campaign. But Obama spent a lot of money (from donors) in order to achieve this; and money is a very strong factor in this kind of elections. But the most important positive thing about Obama is that he seemed to have a plan; maybe he doesn't have one, but he seemed to. Obviously, if you speak more about yourself and what you're planning to do, you'll be in a much better position than just being a naysayer.

So, Obama seems closer to clinching the victory according to every single poll in the USA. But if this election was all over the world, McCain would have conceded loss long time ago. Indeed the whole world seems to favor Obama on McCain by a far margin and that's mainly because the whole world is sick and tired of the failed policies of the Republican party under the reign of George W. Bush. They know that McCain won't be very different.

"Change" was the keyword of these elections. The word was first used by Obama in the beginning of his campaign, but then, everyone wanted to be a part of the change. However, the word was linked more to Obama whose skin color and physical features certainly had an effect as well as his somehow leftist policies and his firm opposition to the war on Iraq. After his defeat of Hillary Clinton, he seemed to be the only hope for change since a change from a Republican conservative to another Republican conservative would bring less than 10% of change (including the names) to the white house. The American people seems to need more.

A more insightful look on those involved in this year's election would bring more people into consideration. Hillary Clinton was on of the most important players that even though she lost, she raised the bar of the Democratic party and got more people involved in the election (some die hard Hillary supporters even chose to choose McCain over Obama!). Another important woman is the VP Republican candidate Sarah Palin. A woman with no experience at all, brought by surprise to hold the second most important post in the American government; an unexpected but not very smart move from the McCain side. Another interesting person was Ron Paul, someone who seemed very odd sitting between all the Republican candidates in the early debates opposing the war of Iraq with strong words that weren't even matched by some of the Democratic party. And last but not least, Ralph Nader. He's not new to the presidential elections, but he would probably bring real change to Washington if he was ever to be elected.

With all the focus on the main two parties, one wonders why those other candidates care about campaigning when they are standing a zero percent chance to get to the white house. The only reason would be to spread their ideas which is really good. But still, why there are no many independent voters in the USA. Most of the voters choose their candidate just because of the color of the party he represents; there are no much emphasis on the policies as there is on what the parties represents. If you're a conservative or a liberal, you know what colors you'r choosing. If you'r a member of the small group of independents and not leaning to any of the main candidates, then either waste your vote on another candidate, abstain from voting, or toss up the coin. More independent voters mean more choices, and therefore better options.

It is just a few hours until the name of the next president of the USA will be known. The whole world is waiting eagerly for a change. But maybe they shouldn't. Whoever the candidate will be, all changes will be minor compared to the amount of instability brought by the current administration. A local change could happen in America, but on the global scale, we should expect the worst so that we will not be disappointed.

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