Theyâ€™re cheering for Camp Obama. Theyâ€™re cheering for Camp McCain. They wear the pins, the t-shirts with the big logos â€“ you name it, itâ€™s on them. Dare say anything bad about their favourite candidate and youâ€™re in for a major debate. Yes, theyâ€™re the new mavericks â€“ or would want to be anyway â€“ except of course that theyâ€™re not Americans.
But who cares?
The Bangladeshi community in New York certainly does not. They have an opinion and have even gone to the busy streets of the Big Apple to make their voices heard. Elizabeth Dwoskin describes how Bangladeshis have caught the â€œvoting feverâ€ in the boroughs. You think the US presidential election is a big deal? For this community, the election of the Bangladesh Society in New York is downright an obsession!
â€œVoters, most of whom are non-citizens, are obsessed with the electoral process.
â€œAs in the presidential election, the same issues had come up: economic insecurity, voting fraud, and the charisma of the candidates.
â€œ”We are born into politics,” said Mia, adding that Bangladeshis love Barack Obama. “It's the way we grow upâ€”politics, politics,” he said. “Americans don't seem to care that much.”
â€œFew people, however, could name the Bangladesh Society's accomplishments during the previous year.â€
The election took over much of the Sachalayatan Community Blog today as Bangladeshi contributors took time to put in a word about what they thought of the results to come.
Faqir Ilyas, who is also from New York, wrote in Bangla that Bangladeshis have started to vote for their favourite with great enthusiasm.
â€œSome of them are campaigning for Obama from a distance. The security arrangements have been beefed up in this city.â€
Going further East on the world map, Taiwanese blogger marc17580 said he could only hope Senator John McCain wins.
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Brazilian Idelber Avelarâ€™s blog, Biscoito Fino e Massa (Fine Cookie and Dough), hopes that the shameful fraud in Florida during the 2000 elections would not see a repeat this year.
“Depois do vergonhoso roubo das eleiÃ§Ãµes de 2000 na FlÃ³rida e das muitas irregularidades que contribuiram para o resultado de 2004 em Ohio, o mais primitivo e precÃ¡rio sistema eleitoral do chamado Primeiro Mundo passarÃ¡ hoje pela sua prova de fogo. O Partido Republicano, minoritÃ¡rio nas grandes cidades, jÃ¡ tem, hÃ¡ algum tempo, a supressÃ£o do voto como um dos elementos centrais da sua estratÃ©gia. Este ano nÃ£o foi diferente, embora, atÃ© o momento, nÃ£o tenha dado muito certo. “
And after these words, Idelber goes on to show a long list with a series of examples of vote suppression and other irregularities that happened in the last days, including intimidation and misinformation campaigns – all of which were in the Republican best interests.
Read blogs from around the world, however, and you get a sense that Camp Obama may be in the lead.
Tania from the Sachalayatan Community Blog may have captured the mood in one sentence. Writing in Bangla, she said:
â€œMcCain is dreaming a dream and Obama is living a dream.â€
** Translations provided by Global Voices Online's Lingua Team: Leonard Chien from Taiwan; Rezwan from Bangladesh and Daniel Duende Caravalho, from Brazil.
Hello to all internationals using this site. I want to put a few things out there as a Caucasian American actually living in this country. I voted Republican and I’m happy I did. I welcome any input from people around the world but simply put, unless you live here and have grown up in my country, it is hard to really experience the values vs knowing what they are. I don’t think that Obama is right for this country due to his friendships with those who hate our country, his church that he recently and conveniently quit due to the fact that it is racist against white people and a radical branch. Since when did we start to value the economy over the life of an unborn child. Hmm….seems like our country has turned into the focus on “me” country and it’s a sad thing to see. I dare say that not only will his radical views and ideology bring even more destruction and heartache to this country, but the fact that as an American I feel it very insulting to know that this guy believes in redistribution of wealth. This country was founded on making your own way through ambition now those people are gonna suffer for their efforts just for getting ahead, seems pretty unfair to me. In case you wonder, I’m deep in debt and a full time graduate student in Missouri if the “oh this guy is rich” accusation comes out. One more thing that is hard to deny. There are too many people out there who will want this man dead because he’s black and that I don’t like because my best friend is black, so I’m not prejudice. This is just the world we live in, and if he dies race riots will erupt. I give him six months tops if he gets in before he gets assassinated by some stupid white supremacist group. Oh yeah that will help our country! I just wish people really researched why this guy is bad news instead of worrying about money all the time. War costs money and yes war is terrible but we are also not a bunch of cowards here and if Obama just takes our troops out without finishing this fight I will lose a lot of respect for him. What does that tell our enemies. By the way, we aren’t there for the oil because if we wanted it that bad we could’ve taken it a long time ago, think about it. Plus, if you aren’t there fighting no one has the right to criticize something they aren’t experiencing in person. No one can know what those troops are going through.
I would like to congratulate Amira and all the VWV team for the wonderful work. And I would like to thank ‘Matt’ for the lively explanation of the mindset of some of the people that wanted Obama out of the White House, or dead. These are the people that give the United States of America the bad name it has in many circles around the world. And I am very, very happy that for the first time in many decades, these people didn’t elect their candidate.
Obama brings us hope that the United States of America can become a country to be loved by the rest of the world too. It will take a long time, and a lot of humility and patience, to accomplish that. But, if it is not done, how can you blame people to want you dead, when you nonchalantly condone your government playing with the other people’s lives?
Viva Obama! And I hope he’s really aware the huge international politics task he has ahead of him: Transforming the United States of America in the paragon of justice it always believed to be, but never was. Changing the way his country relates to others, to a more horizontal and understanding and respectful way — not imposing it’s reality and ideals on others, but trying to discover what the other countries and cultures want, need and expect of the US. And, above all, changing the deadly route taken by the “War on Terror”: Famine is Terror. Disease is Terror. War is Terror. But what the Bush government has been calling terror is just the tip of the iceberg that the United States of America helped to dislodge. The hate that comes from injustice, oppression and disrespect. The hate against what some call “The Biggest Terrorist Country in the World”. Barack Obama has in his hands the power to change that. I hope he can. I hope the North-American people can. I hope we all can.
May the Gods bless Barack Hussein Obama, and the United States of America.