Those of you in America are probably oblivious to the fact that New Zealand's general election is just a few days later, on Saturday (and likely to be a clusterfuck ending in a disastrous National victory). After all, it's just little New Zealand, and although we've stood up to you before and told you precisely what you can and can't do in what I consider one of our finest moments (not to mention one of the precious few worthwhile post-Kirk moments; RIP David Lange), the vast majority of things we do are going to have precious little impact on the US. Or, for that matter, precious little impact even on its neighbour and my own current country of residence, Australia. About the only countries that New Zealand's political decisions will impact are small Pacific Island states.
In contrast, those of us around the globe are very conscious of the American election. Now, I know a number of Americans who wonder why all of us care so much, and the simple reason is that the decisions taken by the US are going to affect us as well. I don't just mean foreign policy either. The US is presently the lone world superpower, and even its domestic economic policies and legal moves are going to have ramifications that echo globally. I have said before that Americans who don't like this should start praying for isolationism, but let's be honest: the world economy is so interconnected and successive US governments have so considerably worked the US into the central position of global politics that true isolationism is impossible, and even a significant degree of isolationism is impractical without causing complete domestic economic collapse. So the rest of us not only care about the outcome of this election, but we aren't going to stop caring in a terrible hurry. And let's be frank - I'm not telling anybody how to vote, but if you don't want your country to be a global laughingstock, only one of the two major candidates has even half a chance of restoring America's shattered reputation. Mercifully enough, it seems that the polling on Five Thirty Eight (definitely some of the best analysis I've seen) indicates an extremely high probability of an Obama win. 98.35% on the popular vote, in fact.
So here I am, about to go to bed so that I can rise early and follow the vote as only a PolSci nerd can, complete with wine and appropriate snacks. After such a lengthy build-up, it's amazing that the election is finally here; this is one of the biggest events of the year for me, and it will feel weird once it's all over. I can't believe how much I care. I am perhaps more keenly interested in this election than my own. I have tried - unsuccessfully, but I nonetheless tried - to keep this entry non-partisan. I could make more of a show of trying to not express my sympathies, but that would be dishonest as it would still be obvious to anyone who can read between the lines. No doubt tomorrow's entry, whatever the result, will be extremely partisan. I'm a leftist and fucking proud of it. Come Saturday (well, Friday, since I'll vote then), I'll do my best to hold up the cause of progressive, forward-thinking, inclusive politics at this end of the world. Good luck holding up your end, America.