Culture Guides

The U.S. Election Around the World

Haven’t they got anything else better to do?

Forget Halloween or New Year’s Eve. The biggest party of the year is happening this Tuesday and the whole world is coming out … to watch TV.

And, naturally, the big star is Barack Obama, whose rock star status might jsut convince the rest of the world to like America again.

Ireland, for one, is claiming him as their own, as this song by Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys shows:

The World Wants Obama coalition’s website lists tributes to the Senator from over 40 countries, from a Caribbean calypso poem to a Spanish Mariachi song to an article from the Dean of a Singaporean University, who writes: In one fell swoop, an Obama victory would eliminate at least half the massive anti-Americanism now felt around the world.

Barack Obama has gone beyond rockstar status. He’s so cool that, unlike George W. Bush, it’s kinda uncool not to like him.

Perhaps a reason for his international popularity is that people want to like America again. They’ve spent so long being pissed off at the U.S, maybe they’re keen to make amends. France and Russia have been out of the limelight for a while, let them be scapegoats for a change.

After all, people like America even if they don’t like to admit it. Movies, literature, music, television, sports, Coca-Cola; America is everywhere. Perhaps people are a little tired of feeling so much animosity towards a country that influences half of what they do, see, or listen to in a day.

So the calls are going out to American people to vote for Obama because the rest of the world has decided he’s the right man for the job. Clubs and bars worldwide will be going off with people perusing Obama-inspired menus (as one restaurant in Munich is offering) while watching blue and red numbers roll by on the CNN ticker. The Democrats Abroad group alone has organized events in 80 countries. ‘La Nuit Obama’ will see an expected 2000 people celebrating together in Paris. There are ‘Welcome Back America’ parties planned in Toronto and Montreal. All-night Election Raves are happening in Sweden and Turkey, while in India the parties start at breakfast.

And with the election results seemingly already decided, the main question of the night will be: what the Hell will we all talk about when it’s over?

Andrea MacDonald

Andrea MacDonald is a nomad, temporarily living in her hometown of Ottawa, Canada.