An overwhelming majority of non-Americans are asking, â€œWhatâ€™s next?â€ now that the US presidential campaign comes to an end this week. Blogs from around the world are asking the same question. However, Filipino bloggers this week have been more active than usual now that the â€œsoap operaâ€ theyâ€™ve been religiously following is about to have its climatic conclusion.
Tony O Cruz, a self-confessed â€œUS elections addictâ€ pondered how people would recover after the elections. He is to join hundreds, if not thousands of people â€“ the majority of who are sure to be Filipinos â€“ at the SM Mall of Asia in Manila on Wednesday night (tomorrow here in the US) to watch the electionâ€™s finale. The mall, which is the third largest shopping malls in the world, is hosting a live coverage of the elections.
â€œI am among the many addicted to the US presidential elections. And on Wednesday morning (Election Night in the US), I will be at the SM Mall of Asia to join Americans wait for election results as they come in.
â€œThe long US presidential campaign finally ends next week when Americans finally cast their votes to choose their next leader. But will we all recover to this new addiction? Will we get rehabilitated soon enough from news, commentary and features about the race between a Democrat who would be the first black US president and the Republican who would be the oldest US leader? Americans and non-Americans have shown high interest in the campaign and the elections.
â€œPolls have shown (Senator) Barack Obama the choice of an overwhelming majority of non-Americans even though we cannot cast a vote. Many people worldwide are discussing it and staying tuned. Meanwhile, droves of Americans are so excited to vote, a huge number of them have gone to vote ahead of Election Day (called â€œearly votingâ€). For some, it has become an addiction.”
Obama trounced McCain anew with a 4 to 1 margin in the poll covering 70 countries that asked who they prefer to be elected as the next US president.
In a surprising twist, more Filipinos chose McCain over Obama. Gallup reports that 30 per cent of respondents chose Obama while only 8pc picked McCain. 62pc did not have an opinion. The surprise? Apparently, only Georgia and the Philippines preferred McCain over Obama in the Gallup survey, with 28pc of Filipino respondents picking the Republican or eight points more than the Democratâ€™s 20pc. A separate survey conducted by the BBC, however, stated that Filipinos preferred Obama (46pc) over McCain (22pc).
Filipinos bloggers reacted to the polls, with many surprised with the different outcomes.
FOBBDeep asks in his blog:
â€œWhaaat?! Is that fâ€™real? [sic]
â€œOf course, the poll was conducted back in May, so things might be a lot different. Also, one should note the lean towards Obama for individuals in the National Capital Region. I also wonder how the pollsters selected those that participated.”
Y Slaybelle, who calls the elections â€œPresident of the Earth Electionsâ€, said that the Gallup poll may just be inaccurate.
â€œInstead, go to The Economist's 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 countrymenâ€”a nation must have at least ten individual votes in order to have its electoral-college votes counted.
â€The Philippines gets 132 electoral college votes, and look at that — Blue State.
â€Not saying that one party is better than another, just wanted to point out I never put all my trust in public opinion surveys in the Philippines. What people tell a person is different from the vote they give in private (on the Internet or in a voting booth), especially in this country, so let's have some iodized salt with that poll please. I for one don't go around telling people who I voted for last time — some family members were campaigning for someone else, and I didn't want to ruffle feathers.”
A young Filipino blogger brings up what many have already brought up but this time Jeisenne says the electionâ€™s â€œrace cardâ€ is being played at home now, too.
â€œâ€¦days before the election, and I'm feeling anxious about it. It upsets me to no end that my parents are supporting McCain/Palin because they're white.
â€œAfter eight years of blasting Bush, preceded by 12 years of blasting Regan and Bush, you'd think that they'd be elated that Obama/Biden are leading the polls. As Joe Biden would say, God love them, but this really bugs the crap out of me. If Obama was a white man, they'd love him and reminisce about JFK and Bill Clinton all over again, but the truth is sad, and right now it's keeping me away from visiting until the heat of the election is over. We agreed not to talk politics, but with the election coming up it's a topic you can't avoid. Politics with my parents has always been touchy anyway. It was hard for me at 18, when I decided I held a more Liberterian philosophy compared to my parents’ Democratic outlook, and three elections later I've landed in the middle as a moderate or Independent, due to being socially liberal and economically conservative. Even though I support a Democrat this election, they can't because OMG it wasn't Hillary! I love you Mom and Dad, no matter what, but the racist PUMA in you needs to be kept away from my ears and my kids.”
Cruz perhaps has the â€œcureâ€ being sought after by many now that the election is coming to a close.
â€œâ€¦the antidote to this addiction is a reality check, especially for non-Americans.
â€œObama may be a new and refreshing face but we all have to contend with the fact that he will have to defend US interests first and foremost â€” not ours. He looks and sounds progressive because the eight-year old Bush presidency has veered to the far right that almost anyone who would raise the call for change would be considered progressive.
â€œThat is, if Obama wins and McCain doesnâ€™t perform a miracle in the last few days.â€