Voices without Votes continuously aggregates interesting links about the election from world bloggers. Our authors take turns picking their top 3 personal favorites every weekday. Today's picks take us to Madagascar and Australia, where one blogger asks us “would a relatively young candidate from a minority group with a new approach fare that well against an experienced politician labeled as a war hero in your own country?”
Madagascan Lova Rakotomalala, one of the VwV authors, has a brilliant post today on malagasy dwarf hippo: about that “if the world could vote” and minority head of state. He turns the tables on the rest of the world:
As most surveys have shown so far, if the world could vote, Obama would win over McCain in landslide. As a consequence, my friends and relatives overseas often say that they cannot understand why the US voters have not clearly made their choice yet when the rest of the world is in agreement on which candidate is the better choice.
Well, here is my advice to my friends, relatives and myself wondering about the judgment of the American voters:
let's all get off our collective high horses and ask ourselves whether it would really be a slam dunk if the same situation were to present itself back home. In other words, would a relatively young candidate from a minority group with a new approach fare that well against an experienced politician labeled as a war hero in your own country?
His answer to this challenge:
Now, in the history of presidential elections worldwide, how many times did a younger, ethnic minority candidate win in a landslide ?
I do not have the exact answer but as far as I know, only two countries have had an elected ethnic minority national leader at some point in history: Peru (Fujimori) and Fiji (Chaudhry). India (Singh) and Bolivia (Morales) could be considered but I am not sure if either count as a true elected ethnic minority leader, Singh was not elected and is more part of a religious minority. Morales is part of the indigenous population but technically, indigenous groups are the majority even though they are very rarely in power.
Closer to home, a TV blog in Australia, TVtonight, is bemused by John McCain's decision to snub David Letterman's talk show. Nothing worse than a media star scorned:
It was on David Letterman’s own talk show that John McCain announced to America that he was running as a candidate for the presidency, an unusual platform to declare himself.
But last month the unique bond went a little awry when McCain snubbed Dave for an interview with Katie Couric. Bad idea. Dave’s been milking it for gags ever since.
“Do you suspend your campaign? No, because that makes me think, well, you know, maybe there will be other things down the road - if he’s in the White House, he might just suspend being president. I mean, we’ve got a guy like that now!” he said.
Tonight you can see the “kiss and make up” appearance of the man running for president as he makes his apologetic appearance on The Late Show.
Guy Rundle is on the road in the U.S. covering the campaign for Australian online media service Crikey where his posts usually read like Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. His sober assessment on the last debate:
The score - McCain was punchier but more scattered, and he commanded the rhetorical field with his Joe the plumber stuff, before Obama started to get it back onto more general. Obama passed up every opportunity to punch hard which yes in this context seemed wise.
Once again Obama won by not losing. McCain lost by getting a draw even a slight win. And I reckon the ‘life of the mother’ air quotes are good for another tranche of female voters moving to Obama, and that thing about teachers not needing training. He’s hitting wrong notes, I suspect, the old navy flyer fighting the last war/campaign but two or three.
I recommend Guy's full posts which are steeped in 1970's journalistic tradition. A true disciple of Hunter S. Thompson.