Cheers for Obama and McCain

They’re cheering for Camp Obama. They’re cheering for Camp McCain. They wear the pins, the t-shirts with the big logos – you name it, it’s on them. Dare say anything bad about their favourite candidate and you’re in for a major debate. Yes, they’re the new mavericks – or would want to be anyway – except of course that they’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 “voting fever” 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!

“Voters, most of whom are non-citizens, are obsessed with the electoral process.

“As in the presidential election, the same issues had come up: economic insecurity, voting fraud, and the charisma of the candidates.

“”We are born into politics,” said Mia, adding that Bangladeshis love Barack Obama. “It's the way we grow up—politics, politics,” he said. “Americans don't seem to care that much.”

“Few people, however, could name the Bangladesh Society's accomplishments during the previous year.”

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.

“Some of them are campaigning for Obama from a distance. The security arrangements have been beefed up in this city.”

Going further East on the world map, Taiwanese blogger marc17580 said he could only hope Senator John McCain wins.

事實上, 作為一個美國大選的局外人, 一個台灣人, 一個中華民國國民, 從現實考量上, 實在是希望共和黨的馬侃能順利勝出, 這當然與共和黨長期以來對亞太局勢及美國在區域利益的設定上俱較民主黨利於台灣有關, 但在我國陳前總統八年治下不斷衝撞美台中日國際關係與均勢下, 說真的, 未來四年無分美國總統是民主黨還是共和黨, 對於我國與美中日相互間的折衝, 想來都在起跑的基準上差別不大(更且我國馬政府已抱定對中大開放的政策為其行事準則). 再加以世界金融危機方興未艾, 連小布希總統御下的美國政府都已採取保守派最不喜歡的企業國有化來挽救與干預市場了, 則未來的美國新政府及國會, 想必也是在這個基準上加以應變

“As an outsider in this election and as a citizen from Taiwan, practically we should hope McCain will win. It is because, of course, that Republicans have better policies towards Taiwan, Asia-Pacific arena and regional interests, compared to the Democrats. Because ex-President Chen from Taiwan challenged international relationships among the US, Taiwan, China and Japan for the past eight years, however, it won't make much difference which party leads the US government in the next four years (The incumbent government in Taiwan has also decided to take an open attitude in China policy). As global financial crisis unfolds, even the Bush government has implemented a nationalization policy that conservatives dislike the most to rescue the market. Future US government and parliament are thought to respond with this standard.”

Brazilian Idelber Avelar’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 eleições de 2000 na Flórida e das muitas irregularidades que contribuiram para o resultado de 2004 em Ohio, o mais primitivo e precário sistema eleitoral do chamado Primeiro Mundo passará hoje pela sua prova de fogo. O Partido Republicano, minoritário nas grandes cidades, já tem, há algum tempo, a supressão do voto como um dos elementos centrais da sua estratégia. Este ano não foi diferente, embora, até o momento, não tenha dado muito certo.

“After the shameful fraud in Florida in the 2000 elections, and of the many irregularities [En] that contributed to the Ohio results in 2004, the world's most primitive and precarious electoral system in the so called First World will go through it's most difficult test. The Republican Party, a minority in the biggest cities, is accustomed to use vote suppression as one of its main strategical elements. And this year was no different, although, at the moment, this strategy is not working very well [En].”

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:

“McCain is dreaming a dream and Obama is living a dream.”

** Translations provided by Global Voices Online's Lingua Team: Leonard Chien from Taiwan; Rezwan from Bangladesh and Daniel Duende Caravalho, from Brazil.


  • Matt

    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.

  • […] election was closely watched by many nations in the world. Bangladesh was not far behind. In a recent post in Voices without Votes we see how Bangladeshi blogs engaged in cheering for Obama and […]

  • 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.

    Daniel Duende.

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