Just seven days to go until election day - it seems unfathomable! It's been very interesting to experience a presidential campaign from overseas. I have to say, there has been more coverage, analysis and debate (but no adverts - hoorah!) about the presidential election than there was when our own head of government changed hands a little over a year ago. They are obsessed with it. Of course that wasn't an election, but I can't help but be reminded about a Brysonism where he commented that if you were to draw up a map of the world based on the news you hear and read in Britain, you'd suppose America is about where Ireland is.
Britain is definitely Obama country; there is a palpable collective holding of breath about Obama winning, almost like a kid on Christmas Eve. People want the good America back and are desperately hoping not to be disappointed again.
I'm chuffed about the momentum of Barack, but still hesitate in the memories of 2000 and 2004; I wish Tuesday would get here already. At least one other American will be joining me at mine for a pow-pow Tuesday night and bloodshot eyes Wednesday. (Slightly less than might have been, however; unlike America, Europe did not adjust its DST start/end dates, so currently we are one hour less ahead of America than normal.) I am hoping, at the least, I will know which way the majority of the swing states have swung by 02:00.
Unfortunately, penduluming against Barack, in the latest polling, Proposition 8 looks like it is going to pass. This will amend the California constitution to ban same-sex marriage and nullify the marriages that have taken place so far. The campaign to pass 8 has massive financial backing from the Mormon (and other) church and is out-gunning the No side by large margins, allowing them to plaster the airwaves with adverts depicting the end of life as we know it should gays and lesbians be allowed to marry.
So... in my last political plea of 2008 (I promise!), I encourage those of you who can to go to this site:
and donate so that the No side has a chance to fight back in this last week. There are just six days left to try and get people to see the light - I just contributed $50 more. And besides, when was the last time some of your dollars got go to ensure the civil liberties of over three million people? How cool is that?! Money well spent!
Shaun H. Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
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