New America Media
October 19, 2008

Editor’s note: Fortunately, the world can’t vote in U.S. elections. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans agree with the rest of the world. It appears Obama, who some claim has hypnotic power over the masses (PDF), is shaping up to the ideal global leader for the elite.

If the entire world gets to Vote? They’ll Vote for Obama…

That terrific magazine, The Economist – too expensive to buy but can be perused while waiting to have one’s wisdom tooth extracted at the dentist’s outer office, or while one waits to spill his guts at the therapist’s – has an interesting interactive map of the world and how it would vote in the American election. Drag the pointer over the map and voilà:

-Russia 86% vote for Obama Vs 14% for McCain
–Germany: 88% for Obama, 12% for McCain
-Vietnam, where pundits said people have certain affections for the old flyboy who was kept in their prison for 5 years (but 3 out of 4 Vietnamese were born after he left Vietnam) 91% for Obama vs 9 % McCain – Mozambique where it’s 100% Obama, which makes sense.

The total global vote cast up to now would comprise of
86% for the Obama/Biden ticket
14% for McCain/Palin.

People are still voting til nov. 1st.

This is a pix of the interactive map:

It’s quite an amazing interactive map indeed—And you have to go there to really see how well put together it is.

Here’s what Economist says about it:
“The Global Electoral College

The Economist has redrawn the electoral map to give all 195 of the world’s countries (including the United States) a say in the election’s outcome. As in America, each country has been allocated a minimum of three electoral-college votes with extra votes allocated in proportion to population size. With over 6.5 billion people enfranchised, the result is a much larger electoral college of 9,875 votes. But rally your countrymen—a nation must have at least ten individual votes in order to have its electoral-college votes counted.

There are few countries whose votes in the Global Electoral College are a foregone conclusion. So the winner is unlikely to be decided by a small number of “swing countries”. Rather, they will have to cobble together a coalition of small, medium and large nations. (A campaign stop in Beijing is recommended, as well as a tour of Africa.) Voting in the Global Electoral College will close at midnight London time on November 1st, when the candidate with most electoral-college votes will be declared the winner.”

It’s no scientific poll, no serious data, obviously, since how many people read The Economist and go on line, say, in Zimbabwe, for instance? And in Vietnam, far more young people go on line than older folks who’d arguably prefer McCain. Still the map speaks to the global desire – The world has a stake in the American election now more than ever before, and we can infer that those who rally their country’s votes on the Economist page at least tend to represent a large swath of people around the globe.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

The world is watching the American election with more vested interest than they do the Olympics, the World Cup (well, maybe not the World Cup) and folks overseas are as riveted by the American politics as people in the battle ground states. The American election has turned everybody into news junkies.

If I were to venture a quick analysis, I would say that the world’s perception of the warrior John –Victory-is-ours-McCain becoming the next president as a sign of America continuing its path to being belligerent empire, and out of balance. It can only mean more war overseas, economic troubles globally, with possible confrontation with Russia over the republic of Georgia (incidentally the only country that votes for McCain more than Obama in the Economist interactive page), and the possible bombing of Iran – which would lead to the unraveling of the Middle East and beyond.

If Obama wins, on the other hand, America will be seen as a country that tempered its migth with diplomacy, and reasons, and the world finding its even footing finally.

America has traditionally hurled contradictory views of itself abroad. The primary example of this would The Great Seal of the United States – The American bald eagle with its wings outstretched, its left talon holding arrows and its right an olive branch – and its head turning toward the left. This is its motto: “A strong desire for peace, but will always be ready for war.” Since invading Iraq and Afghanistan, however, it could be argued that the eagle has its head turned toward the cluster of arrows.
But abroad, more and more people see the American eagle clasping arrows in both claws, having dropped that olive branch somewhere along the way. The world’s only superpower is a sovereign with permanent economic and political interests, and seems to boast far less idealism than ever before. It needs no apology, nor does it want any cinematic or poetic criticism any longer. It practically screeches its new motto across the globe: might makes right, baby.

What does Obama mean for the rest of world? Why does he energize them?

Obama as president will mean the bald eagle will be turning its beak toward the Olive branch once more, as it were.

That a son of a foreign student from Kenya and a white mother, raised by single parent, with humble background, a mixed race, can rise to the highest office in the (still somewhat) most powerful nation in the world speaks volume to the vision of the pre 9-11 America in the world’s imagination.

A transnational figure – Obama seems to bridge many spheres all at once. A sister who is part Indonesian, part white, white grandparents in Hawaii, a grandmother in Kenya, he’s as much an American as he is a global citizen. His rise inspires many, and is ushering in a world in which integration is the norm, and any kid from any background can now dream big, real big – indeed a vision of grandeur.

Watch Collin Powell endorse Obama:

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