Election 2012: I’m Australian and I Care

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last week talking to people about the upcoming US election, both online and in person. I’ve watched the debates, laughed at the memes, and tried really, really hard not to get too political on Facebook. I’ve accidentally turned innocent conversations about current events into diatribes on why the US election is so important, and who people should vote for. I have, in short, been thoroughly infected with Election Fever.

But I’m not American, I’m Australian.

So the election has nothing to do with me, right?

Wrong.

The result of the election on November 6 won’t just affect the USA for the next four years, it will affect the whole world. That’s why the whole world is watching.

Just because I can’t vote, and I have no way to significantly affect the outcome, doesn’t mean I don’t care.

Why I Care

Let’s just take a step back for a minute, and look at the relationship between America and Australia.

We’re military allies and trade partners, of course, but the relationship goes deeper than that. (Yes, I think we’ve taken it to “the next level”.)

In Australia, we grow up on American imports. Not just in terms of material goods, but also moral, ethical, and cultural ones. Our kids grow up watching Sesame Street and Bear in the Big Blue House and The Simpsons. They learn about Abraham Lincoln, the civil war, and the story behind Thanksgiving long before they learn about Australian history.

And it’s not just the kids. For a relaxing evening, we sit down and watch Glee or NCIS or How I Met Your Mother. When we turn on the radio, we hear Pink and Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars. If we go to the movies, it’s to see Taken 2 or Looper or Madagascar 3. Then we stop on the way home to grab a bite at McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken.

American culture has so invaded our mental space that Australians need to be reminded not to call 911 in an emergency (we call 000), and that we can’t take the 5th in court (…because we have our own constitution).

But none of that has anything to do with politics, right? Uhh…. Yes, and at the same time, no.

We’ve grown up emulating America. And that emulation doesn’t stop when we reach a certain age, or when we get to a certain position — partly because most Australians secretly think America is like our cool older brother, and partly because emulation of American culture is so deeply embedded in our sub-conscious that we barely realise it’s there.

When the President of the United States makes a decision, you can almost guarantee that Australian politicians will emulate that decision within the next six to twelve months.

The Australian Perspective

A recent Sydney newspaper poll asked Australians who they would support in the US election if they were given a vote. Of those polled, 72% would vote for Obama, compared to only 5% who would vote for Romney. (23% were undecided)

Clearly there are a lot of people in America who will be pleased that Australians don’t get to vote! But… why the huge preference for Obama?

Firstly, Obama has something of a Rock Star cum International Superstar image over here. We’ve loved him since he was campaigning in 2008, and not much has changed over the last four years. He’s liberal without being too liberal, he has the “cool American” thing going for him (in that he’s cool and he’s American), and he seems like a sane, honest (for a politician) family man.

Secondly, Australia is a lot more naturally liberal than America. We also have a lower gender wage gap, are closer to achieving marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, and can’t even comprehend the idea that abortion would be illegal in the case of rape or a potentially life-threatening pregnancy. (In fact, in 25% of Australia’s States and Territories, abortion is legal upon request, no questions asked.)

The interesting (and possibly troubling)  part of this is that, as I said above, Australians feel like they are just like Americans. So we watch the debates between Obama and Romney, and figure the outcome is a given. Romney wouldn’t last two minutes as an Australian politician, so it can be hard for us to come to terms with the idea that this is going to be a close election.

If Romney Wins, I Worry That…

…his economic plan to cut the deficit without increasing taxes will result in cuts in spending, leading to a recession that will affect not only the US, but also the Australian economy. And we’re really still recovering from the last economic meltdown!

…his view on GLBT rights will significantly impact American legislation (or lack thereof) and that will, in turn, affect Australia’s forward momentum in legalizing gay and lesbian marriages in all states and territories.

…his view on contraception, abortion, and women’s rights will negatively impact on women in Australia and the rest of the world.

If I was an American, there would be other issues that concerned me. And if I was actually a political scientist (instead of an opinionated blogger), I may have others still. But these are the ones that I’m worried about affecting me and my family.

Please vote

I’m Australian. I can’t vote. I can’t have any kind of significant impact on this election. I just have to sit here on the other side of the world, and hope that the election is won by the candidate who will be the most beneficial for me and my country’s future.

But if you’re in America, you can make a difference.

You can vote.

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43 Comments

Filed under Opinion

43 responses to “Election 2012: I’m Australian and I Care

  1. Wow- I would have never thought to look at our election from an Australian viewpoint- and you are far more informed than so many over here….My husband and I cannot talk politics. It gives the impression to our kids that we are fighting- when we are not- but the impression is the same so we don’t discuss politics in front of them anymore. I tend to believe that, as much as I love our American system and our justifiable fear of autocratic rule, that our system is not built for long-term solutions to our problems in the public education system, social security, the national debt, and other long-term issues. Every 4 to 8 years, the time it takes to get a program researched, approved and implemented can barely reap benefits before it it is time for the changing of the guard. So, we react more than we Pro-act. 🙂 I understand our reasons, and for all of our strengths as a nation and as a people, I fear we will not be able to fix our longterm problems with our reaction-by-design short-term system. What is worse, is that voters like me, who vote prioritized issues and straight party ticket, can mess up the balance of consistency even further by flip-flopping which party we vote for- Only recently has a a third party even begun to be taken a little seriously- and even that could pose a hazard to the next closest party to ensure the rival incumbent a win. I know who I will vote for this year. And, it is opposite who I voted for last term. The issues I find paramount have also changed. And, I do feel like this could be close. I do not know how to predict a winner. And, I was a political science major. 🙂 Great post, Jo- 🙂

    • Thanks, Tricia. I have to admit to being nervous before hitting the ‘publish’ button — I really do try to stay clear of talking politics. But sometimes you just have something you really need to say, you know?

      Anyway, if you were a political science major and can’t predict a winner, what hope do the rest of us have?? 🙂

      • Elizabeth A Souders

        Nice post.
        But what would you worry about if Obama wins?

      • Fair question, Elizabeth.

        I would expect that, if Obama wins, things will continue moving in the same general direction they have been for the last four years. As it happens, that direction generally (but not always) sits close enough to my own values and beliefs that I dont worry overmuch. However, I do worry about the extreme love our politicians have for Obama — and the way that they seem happy to go along with almost anything he says just because it’s him speaking. We’ve had Obama giving speeches to the people of Australia about the future (not necessarily appropriate), we’ve got a bigger US military presence in the country than at any other time in the past fifty years (and possibly ever), and we seem to jump on every American badnwagon, whether we should or not.

        As has been remarked above, we have a population of 22 million compared to your 310 million. However, if the President announces that America will be giving a billion dollar aid package to a disaster-struck country, Australia is way too quick to say, “Us too!” But $1 billion out of the US is only $3 per person, whereas $1 billion to us is $45 per person. So I worry that, with Obama in charge, our politician’s desire to be “just like him” will have us making economic and military decisions that aren’t in the best interests of our country. If Romney wins, we won’t have a lot of those problems because Australians (overall) have a negative opinion of him.

        Like everyone else, I’ve thought about the issue from both sides, and made a decision as to which issues are most important to me on a personal level. I certainly don’t begrudge anyone else the right to have a different opinion!

  2. Hey, good to see people caring. Wish more over here did. I would not worry too much about the outcome, however. Almost everything you’ve mentioned happens at the State level, not the Federal, which means whether Obama or Romney is in power will have no impact on them at all (Gay rights, contraception, abortion [which is legal in 100% of states]). Presidents are mostly there to act decisively in the event of war, and to act as a figurehead and symbol of the people who elected them to the world, ie foreign policy.

    The Senate and House actually control what laws are passed, and the scope they control is limited–each State has (with variations) it’s own version of the legislature. I think it gets lost in the wires how many Americans there actually are, and how much of what is centralized in most countries is delegated regionally here. It makes sense when you think about it; Australia would be the 3rd most populous State were it to suddenly sign up with us, which makes me a little jealous of all the elbow room you have. It’s hard to get 310,000,000 million people to agree on anything (look at the analogous situation in Europe–Imagine if you had to make Britain, Germany, and Greece agree on the same income tax rates) so most of what we do happens in smaller chunks, which are not particularly visible from across the ocean.

    • Oh, I’m veryy aware of the difference in our country’s populations. Our 22 million people would vanish into obscurity amongst your 310 million. (I can’t even begin to grasp what it would be like to have more people live in a single city than in our entire country!!!) So yeah, as someone who’s both lived in the States herself and done an awful lot of research into US politics and government, I understand that there’s a lot of State politics going on, and the President doesn’t get to personally create every piece of legislation in the country.

      Even still, from my perspective there was a distinct change in Australia and Australian politics when Obama and his administration took the helm in 2008. In many ways, that has more to do with Australia than with US politics. Imagine, if you will, that America is the cool older brother, the rich kid who gets all the hot chicks and has the power and strength to step up when he sees someone doing the wrong thing and force them to back down. Australia is the little brother who really, really, really badly wants to be just like his Big Brother. So if Big Brother says he gets his strength from eating spinach, Australia will eat as much spinach as it can get its hands on.

      That’s the aspect I’m concerned about in regards to many of these issues. The moment the President of the United States says that (for example) gay marriage is an abomination, whether any individual States agree with him or not, it gives a lot of the “undecided” people in Australia a chance to jump up and down and “eat that spinach”. We saw those type of reactions when George W. was President, and then again with Obama. My preference would be for Australian polticians to stop trying to impress America with their cool streetwise Americanisms. But since that’s unlikely to happen, I have to hope that they’re at least being peer pressured by someone with politics I can support.

      • Personally, I’m hoping Romney focuses on the business side of things if he gets elected, before we’re the broke older brother crashing on your couch. We’ve got work enough cut out for us these next few years without tinkering around in anyone’s civil liberties. If you’ve lived here, you have a feel for it, and know we’re not (always) quite the loons we look like from reports coming out of DC. Either way, things move along. I’m looking forward to the end of the billion dollar blitz.

      • Yeah, I’m about ready for it to be over now, too. Fingers crossed if it does go Romney’s way, he sticks to business. I don’t think our couch can fit our broke older brother for long!

  3. I cannot stand the political system over there. Elections are waaaaaay too long – and a fortune is spent on rubbish (campaigning). Utter tripe. It’s criminal.

    • Elizabeth A Souders

      Oh they are too long, however when Michelle Obama spoke at a college in my nieghborhood my business (small restaurant) had one of the best days ever. So the campaigning does help boost the economy where it goes.

    • Hi Oi Oi Oi. I see you’ve made a number of comments here — many of them anti-American and/or inflammatory. That’s fine, everyone’s entitled to an opinion.

      And I understand your sentiment. I’ve been through phases of wishing that Australians didn’t feel the need to Americanize (see what I did there?) themselves. I’ve seen young Aboriginal kids wearing Malcolm X t-shirts, with no understanding that the black rights advocate lived and campaigned in another country. I’ve seen kids re-enacting the civil war, without having even heard of Ned Kelly or the Eureka Stockade. I’ve seen teenagers hanging out at shopping centres, their brand-name “Gangsta” clothes on display while they pretend they’re from South Central. I’ve heard teachers talk about their dismay that teenagers can plot major American cities on a map, but have no idea where Perth is located.

      But that’s not America’s fault. If anything, it’s our fault for not being more proactive in talking about our own history and culture.

      As for this particular comment, I see what you’re saying, but I don’t agree. I LOVE the political system in America (especially in comparison to our own). It’s full of drama and theatre and a showmanship that I think is fabulous. Yes, it goes on for a long time — but if you wanted to convince 310 million people that you’re an upstanding guy, how long would it take you? And yes, it costs a lot of money, but no more (in comparison) with the money spent here on campaigning — and remember that the money spent goes straight back into the country itself, thus boosting the economy.

      Is it tripe? Well, a lot of it probably is. But it’s entertaining tripe with a in important purpose and beneficial side-effects. So I wouldn’t call that criminal.

  4. You likely are more informed about our politics than many Americans, Jo. I really liked this post and would consider it a must read for everyone here in the states. We are so ethnocentric and likely aren’t even aware how woven together our political and economic systems are to every other country on the planet. Thanks to the internet, that’s becoming less so. It’s not called “the web” for nothing.

    • Americans are americancentric. Clueless.

      • Oi Oi Oi, you paint with a fairly broad brush. Not ALL Americans are clueless. For someone who links to the Australian Tourism Board, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to enlighten, in a friendly way, people whom you find lacking in the breadth of their knowledge?

      • Americans are loud and brash, invade other countries, think they run the world, and piss me off.

      • …and the great thing about jingoism is that it’s alive and well, even in Australia.

      • cf

        Wow. “Loud and brash” and “piss you off.” Didn’t know that about myself… and here i’ve tried all my life to be peaceful, loving, and giving. Good to have you fill me in about my failings.

    • Thanks, Sahbina. It’s hard, I think, for Americans to really grasp the impact that their country has on the rest of the world. But all you really need to do is look at the Global Financial Crisis to see how quickly change or trouble in the US affects the whole world. It’s one of the reasons I felt compelled to write this piece.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  5. Wow, Jo. I started reading, and I was hooked. I really liked and agreed with what you were writing. Fearing the end of the post, I scrolled down to see if we would agree to the very end, and I found we would not. Still, I read and I was impressed with your deliberate post.
    I hear your worries, and I have worries of my own if Romney is not elected. Still, I am grateful for the responsibility given to me to vote. We do not have a ‘right’ to vote, per se. It is our responsibility, and I take it seriously.
    Regardless of whether the campaigning is as Oi Oi Oi said, “a fortune…spent on rubbish (campaigning). Utter tripe…”, I believe it is my responsibility to listen to the speeches, debates, and campaigning. I wish more Americans spent time listening, researching, and questioning rather than bickering, moaning, and groaning.
    It is not a surprise when politicians sling mud at one another. We wish it would stop-and we become frustrated with their ridiculous behavior. Yet, as we air our frustrations at the rude, dishonest, and disrespectful nature of the politicians and their campaigns, we act the exact same way they do – when someone disagrees with us. For that reason, I detest election years. I’m grateful for the responsibility, but I’m frustrated by the culture.

    • Oi oi oi

      It goes on for too long. Simple as that. The money that is wasted is mind boggling. Typical overdoing it American style. As soon as anything to do with American politics comes on telly I can’t get to the remote fast enough.

      Not that our system is much better – here they act like “children” (for want of a better word … apologies to all kids) – and there is money wasted on printed material and tv advertising. There’s just something about America that screams ‘fake’, so obviously it’s a turn off. Overly patriotic to the point of nausea.

    • Hi Lenore. Thank you so much for your comments, I really appreciate them. Especially because I knew when I wrote and published this that we sit on different sides of the fence. I love that we can disagree on “the right man for the job”, and still be friends and talk openly about our beliefs. To be honest, I’ve come to appreciate a few of Romney’s points based solely on listening to him through a filter of “Why does Lenore support this guy?”. (It doesn’t change my overall opinion, but I’d like to believe it stops me from turning into one of those rude, dishonest, disrespectful people you mentioned!)

      You probably aren’t aware of this, but here in Australia we are obliged to vote in every election — not turning up to vote results in a fine of $100. In my time, I’ve purposefully chosen not to vote because (a) I didn’t have a strong opinion, (b) I haven’t fully understood the issues being presented, and (c) I’ve chosen to make a (pointless) stand against being forced to vote. Rather than having problems with voter turn-out, we have issues where up to 10% of votes are “donkey votes” — which is to say, the voting slips are purposefully filled out incorrectly in order to make them invalid.

      All of this is to say that I have so much respect for a country where voting is not mandatory, where you are given the freedom and responsibility to listen to the arguments and the differences between candidates and then CHOOSE to step up and cast a vote – regardless of who you vote for.

  6. I hate to tell you, but cutting the deficit without raising taxes is the least of our worries over here. With the highest rate in unemployment, people on food stamps, ect in history, more people are worrying about feeding their families and keeping their homes than cuts in spending. Back in another dark time in US history, when we had a similar economy, the then president, put into affect a right to work program that worked. He created jobs and put Americans back to work. That is what our country needs, not more government intrusion and spending. Give people the incentive to get back to work and the pride that goes along with it.
    As far as the other issues you have with a Republican leader, I won’t go there. Because of my faith in my Lord Jesus Christ, I cannot vote for those issues, not because I hate anyone, or because I feel like I have the right to choose someone’s lifestyle or decisions, but because without boundaries, a world will collapse on itself. Look to your own children. If you do not set boundaries, rules, laws or whatever you want to call it, would they not turn into lawless brats? (Sorry, I don’t like that word and would never call any child that to their face, but I couldn’t come up with another word at the moment.) Every individual needs guidelines to help make us the best possible person we can be.
    Everyone of us (especially me) are sinful people in need of forgiveness and salvation. I don’t want this to sound preachy, and since you have never once responded to any of my posts, I guess it doesn’t really matter. But since you think you have a stake in this game, I just wanted to tell you, that you have to walk a mile in our shoes to really be able to comment. Our country, which was once founded on Godly values, is crumbling within. Our current leadership gives more credence to the cultures that tried to annihilate us on 9/11 than to the heart of his own people. That just seems wrong to many of us. Unfortunately, there are more misguided people who believe as you do, and therefore, we will more than likely be subjected to another four years of a leader who cares more for other cultures than his own.
    I just thought you should know.

    • Hi Darla. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      In response to your first point, I absolutely agree. I’m very aware that the US is facing a heap of economic and social issues at the moment — that’s specifically why I said that if I were an American I would have a lot of other concerns to bring to the table in making a choice in regards to voting. However, I limited my concerns to those things that will directly affect me and my family in Australia. I certainly hope that, regardless of the outcome of the election, the unemployment and poverty in America is eased. (Did you know that the number of people unemployed in the US at the moment is roughly equivalent to the entire population of Australia? Scary stuff.)

      In response to your second point, let me say this: In Australia, we are big believers in having a separation between the Church and the State. (As should be clear by the fact that our PM is an Atheist.) So while I’m definitely all in favour of rules and boudnaries in regards to behaviour, I believe those rules and boudnaries should be ones set by the people, for the people — not by a religion (any religion) or religious leaders. I’m perfectly happy for you to disagree with me, it’s certainly your right to do so. It’s also your right to believe that you’re sinful and in need of forgiveness and salvation, I just don’t see what that has to do with choosing a political leader. But although I don’t agree with your opinion, I’d fight anyone who tried to deny your right to voice it.

      In regards to having to walk a mile in your shoes to be able to comment, I disagree. While I have refrained from commenting on the internal US problems for exactly that reason (I’m happy to keep my opinions to myself there), what a lot of people don’t realise is that the Americans walk all over the globe. While I may not have walked in your shoes, I have to live my life with your shoeprints outsides my front door. That’s why I feel that I can comment on the aspects of the election that will affect me and mine.

      The only objection that I have to your comment is the statement “since you have never once responded to any of my posts”. I don’t read your blog, it’s true, so haven’t responded to anything there. I don’t recall you ever having commented here before, either, but I certainly respond to all comments made on my blog. So I’m not sure what you’re exactly referring to here.

  7. You sure opened up a can of worms here Jo!! I won’t go in to politics right now – I think you know which way I lean – but it’s nice to get some perspective on why the election matters to you. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, B! And thanks for sharing my post, too. As I said above, my mouse pointer hoevered over the ‘publish’ button for an inordinately long time as I debated whether I really wanted to open this can of worms. But sometimes you just need to express yourself even when you know it will probably lead to escaping worms.

  8. Elizabeth A Souders

    Oi Oi Oi…please tell us how you really think 🙂 oh and you forgot sarcastic.:)

  9. SH

    It’s good that Darla has told us her perspective. While I don’t agree with much of what she says, such views are common in the U.S. nowadays. Seeing them in print allows us to identify the deep contradictions within them. For example, she says the country needs a “right to work program” like one put in place “in another dark time” by the “then president,” but then says our country doesn’t need “more government intrusion and spending.” This negative view of the government is one put forward by the corporations that have taken control of our country in a way not seen since the early 20th century. But when taken apart we see it for the strawman it is.

    I don’t quite understand her comments about her faith and lawlessness (there are many contradictions in that scenario as well), but I must say that I personally do not believe that humans are “sinful people” and I feel sorry that she feels she is one. She is obviously a caring person; I have great difficulty with the negative self-view purported by many religions. This negative self-view, however, could be applied to the “Godly values” that the founders of this country followed that allowed them to desecrate whole populations and impose their will upon people thousands of miles from their homes. This was not religion but pure ethnocentrism in a search for power.

    I know such contradictions are hard for Darla and people like her to accept, but the world is a complex place. It’s necessary to understand this when looking at those who perpetrated the 9/11 tragedy. It was not a “culture” but a specific group of people who were behind that act. Many loud voices are stirring up anxieties in people like Darla. I hope she looks beyond those who, in reality, are simply using her and others by feeding them false information and agitating people about irrelevant issues. They have a specific agenda and people like Darla are but puppets.

    I hope Darla can see the contradictions and seeks clarification. I’m sorry that people like her feel she can trust those who twist issues around in order to get her support rather than those who are open minded and accepting of all people and cultures. While we believe she has a right to her opinions and lifestyle, those who want her vote do not believe that I have a right to mine. For her sake, I hope our country can move in a more progressive direction.

    • Thanks very much for your comment, SH. Like you, I believe that everyone has a right to their own opinions and lifestyle. And as I said in my response to Darla, I believe that there should be a clear separation between Church (any Church) and State, and that the laws of a land should reflect all the people therein, not just the ones who belong to a set relgion or belief. It’s often hard for those of us outside the US to understand why “Godly values” play any role whatsoever in a political debate, so I find it fascinating to hear from people on both sides of the fence.

  10. You know, I was wondering when you tweeted at me about some of this stuff why you were interested. Now I know.

    I do fear that you may have opened yourself to a lot of negative criticism from some of your American readers here (not I, mind you). The political heat here has gotten pretty intense, and vitriol and naked hatred abounds. (It’s especially demoralizing when people say “it’s not that I hate xyz, but…” and then go on to explain how, in excruciating detail, they do in fact hate xyz. I’ve caught myself doing it a few times and it’s difficult to come to grips with.) My point being, there are those who won’t think kindly of you for voicing your opinion, and will be very noisy about their unkind thoughts.

    That’s why, at least for now, I try to avoid blogging about politics. (Twitter is another thing. I get the impression that as a relative nobody, nobody actually reads my twitter feed. Facebook is yet another thing still, and the hatred and vitriol I’ve faced there for voicing my beliefs has contributed substantially to my having largely withdrawn from actively engaging “friends” on Facebook.)

    • I knew at the point that I published this that I was potentially opening myself to negativity, criticism, and a loss of readership. But I wrote and published it anyway. In part because I believe in the right of all people to express their opinion in a fair and non-judgemental way, and in part because, despite my googling, I didn’t find any other article that talked about the US election from the perspective of someone outside the country who cares about the results. But, yes, I anticipated some fallout from this.

      Although so far, I’ve had nothing but respectful discourse from everyone who’s commented — except from another Australian. Go figure.

      I completely respect your decision not to blog about politics, though. Your blog is pretty much solely devoted to writing, so a political discourse would seem much more out of place than here, where I opine about all manner of things. 🙂 Oh, and being that my Facebook news feed is 80% American, I’m very well acquainted with the vitriol and poltiical wrangling that goes on there!

      • Yeah, I have to respect the courage to post like that. My own blog is 55-60% writing, I feel like, and about 30% Fantasy and Spec Fic Fandcom and the rest random stuff like being a parent. And I totally agree that we should each feel free to express our opinions and beliefs. It’s embarassing to me that I feel that I can’t because I’m intimidated by the hatred and vitriol: that’s what they want to do, to silence me, and I’m letting them win. But I just don’t have the mental and emotional energy to fight that particular fight, right now. If I did, you can bet I’d blog a lot about politics…

      • You gotta choose your battles. And you’ve got to have the energy to fight them. Even knowing as little about your personal life as I do, I know you’ve got much, much more important things to be expending your mental and emotional energy on right now!

        Besides, in another four years, you’ll have anoter chance to blog about politics if you choose to do so.

  11. Everybody else can debate and argue over politics all they want. What is shocking to me in this post is the fact that you forgot to mention what cool stuff Australia has given America. Your country has impacted ours as well. I could type a whole list but I’ll just give you #1. Wolverine, i.e. Hugh Jackman. God bless the land down under!!
    (I just had to throw in some humor, enjoy.)

    • Ooooh…. Wolverine. Glad you love him as much as I do! And don’t forget Simon Baker, Julian McMahon, and Portia de Rossi!

      Thanks for the humour. We all need to remember to laugh in the midst of Election Fever. 😀

  12. I think you know I don’t like to talk politics or religion, but I LOVE everything you just said. I had no idea we Americans had such an effect on the Aussies, when YOU guys are the ones with the cool accent and live down under!! Although I don’t like to discuss it, I will go on record and have before, to say that I am very liberal with an occasional conservative thought that’s usually totally random. Absolutely everything you said I got the chills and said, “Of COURSE Jo feels that way. Of COURSE she thinks that!!!” I DO vote, but I don’t share what I vote. My brother-in-law, a firefighter, like most firefighters is REPUBLICAN. He cries when he listens to Reagan speeches. He drives me absolutely nuts (inside). I could never understand how my sister could grow up in the same house as I with the same mother and suddenly believe so conservatively. She told me, “I talk to Dan about everything political. And then I go into the voting booth – alone – and NOBODY knows how I vote. Not Dan, not you, not anybody.” Oh Jo…you are so awesomesauce.

    • Thank you so much, Kim. I didn’t think anything I said here would come as much of a surprise to my friends and regular readers. I’ve never gone to any effort to hide my thoughts, beliefs, or leanings. I just don’t usually talk about politics quite so directly! 🙂

      xxx

  13. This Amarican election is really getting people going! I think more so than in past years. Anyway, I can’t vote either because I’m Canadian, but oh how I wish I could vote! Obama, in my opinion, has the right stuff, especially as far as foreign policy goes. 14 days … I’ve almost no nails left! 🙂

  14. Pingback: On Writing and Developing Characters | The Happy Logophile

  15. Is there anyway that Australians could vote for the president? Because I’m in favor of it and am shocked that it is tied like it is.

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