United States Presidential Election 2008

on Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Usually I try to avoid writing a "political" post, but after being asked countless times first if I am able to vote from abroad for the November election and second WHO am I going to vote for.  I usually try to keep the political conversation to a minimum.  Yes I am able to vote via absentee ballot and I am not going to disclose in this post who I am going to vote for.  Especially since my vote does not really count to begin with.  I am voting because it is my right as a citizen of the United States.  The winner is based on the votes of the ELECTORAL COLLEGE and not really BY THE PEOPLE.  Do I think this is correct, that I as an average American citizen, even if I live abroad, vote and for the electors, who in turn may or may not vote for the candidate in question, no.  


In the Electoral College, each state has a number of electors based on the number of Senators and Representatives in the United States Congress.  So basically the smaller the state, the less electoral votes.  South Dakota, for example, has only three electoral votes.  

I was doing some blog reading this morning and came across a wonderful post on one of the blogs I read.  "How Bush got elected twice (The Electoral College for Dummies)".  I highly suggest reading it.  

Yes I am a proud citizen of the United States of America, I admit that.  But I am not the flag-waving type nor do I have the United States flag tattooed on my forehead.  If you drive by my apartment, you will not see the United States flag hanging off my balcony.  My country of birth, the United States of America, is far from perfect, but what country is?

This then leads to another question that I have been asked several times in the last six and a half years that I have been living in Italy, is if I like living in Italy.  But it is the WAY the question is asked by the locals.  It is asked in such a way that the person asking is implying "Do you prefer living in Italy?" and expects the answer "Yes" and they are rather shocked when they do not get the answer they were expecting.  I always respond, "It is different.  There is now way to compare the two countries.  It would be like comparing apples and oranges.  But are fruits, but that is where the similarities end." There are positives and negatives about Italy and the United States.  One country is not superior to the other.  Get over it and accept that fact.  

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20 comments:

pirancafe said...

I get that quite often myself and my answer is the same: not better, not worse, just different. That fact that I chose to live in Europe should underscore the why and what of my preference.

Cheers from Slovenia!

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Grandy said...

I think it's great that, although it is discouraging that perhaps we can't make a difference with our vote, that you are still excersising that right as a citizen. For anyone to ask you WHO you're voting for, bleh, that too is your right (of privacy).

Ann said...

Pirancafe, exactly. Our chosen new countries of residence are just different, not better nor worse. It's as if the local population has an inferiority complex and wants to "hear" from a foreigner that their (local) country is far better than the other country(ies). Get over it, each country has something good to offer.

Grandy - even that it is the electoral vote that counts the most, I guess it is just a psychological thing, that in some way I have even just a hint of a "voice" in the vote. Even if I am across the Atlantic Ocean on another continent.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most comments here but I have that feeling you may be biased. After reading your blog which dates back to 2005 I think you should have departed for the other side of the pond.

Ann said...

Mr./Ms. Anonymous, yes you are correct that my blog dates back to 2005. A time in which I was having a difficult time. Yes, even now in 2008 I would prefer to live in another country outside of Italy/Europe but I am here now at this moment. I am just trying to make the best of it. Like anyone, I am going to have good days and bad days. If you don't like what you are reading Mr./Ms. Anonymous, move on to another reading material. Also, why do you decide to hide behind Anonymous? You are able to leave such a comment, but you are unable to sign your comment or leave your blog address, if you have one.

ian said...

coming from a country where many of our citizens migrate to the US and elsewhere, there's a prevailing notion that there's still no place like home. but then again, as the cliche goes, home is where the heart is. so... =]

i watch with keen interest the US elections season. it's quite lengthy- from the primaries and all- but whether we like it or else, how the elections go in the US, it affects countries the world over...

no matter how different your system of elections is, and despite its imperfections, thank you for participating in it =] too many people take the right to vote for granted =0

J.Doe said...

Why would you say that "your vote doesn't really count'? I know the electoral college reps could always vote against the popular vote (yours) but it seems very defeatist to reason this way. Most electoral college votes are votes to match the popular vote. All people in the US-legally- should vote.
George Bush won Florida against Al Gore by only 537 votes. Your vote does count.

virgomonkey said...

Thanks for the link love. :)

I am surprised every time I find another person (even Americans) that don't know we are *NOT* a Democracy. We are a republic. The electoral voting system is a joke! But like you, even if I know my vote's not going to count, I vote anyway because I just want it on paper that the number went +1 because of ME and to further expose the flaws of our corrupt system!! Naturally, I vote who I wish for as president.

I got depressed today to find out that there are STILL some Americans that really don't care and think that there vote doesn't count therefore not voting or voting and having their 6 yr. old kid vote for them. I am livid - to say the least.

I may just have to move to Canada, myself. LOL ;-)

I think that red-white-n-blue American jingoists underweigh the realistic Americans that realize that we're just different too. It's just that our nationalists are the LOUDEST. LOL Painfully loud.

virgomonkey said...

Oops typo alert: "their vote" not "there vote"

virgomonkey said...

J.Doe. That's incorrect. GWB didn't win, period. Gore won by a landslide in the popular vote overall.

On paper, the electoral system of voting is pretty. In practice, it is corrupt. The EV is SUPPOSED to vote as the state votes, but they don't always do that as noted already in 4 different US elections.

THAT'S the problem. Ann isn't being a defeatist. The defeatists that you should be angry at are the ones the choose not to vote.

Robin said...

I am originally from England but have been living most of my life in Canada and when I retire in a few years time I'll be moving to the Dominican Republic. There's no point in comparing because each is different.

As for the American election, I can't understand how Americans can put up with a process that goes on for almost 2 years. We've just had an election in Canada this week and the entire campaign lasted only 38 days. The amount of money it costs to become President is mindboggling - I heard that both McCain and Obama will have each spent more than 500 million!

Jacqueline said...

Wow! Why must so much money be spent? Most people already know who they're going to vote for before these folks come out of the gate. There's not enough money for hungry babies but plenty to run around the country holding babies.

Jennifer said...

I agree that with the electoral college, your vote does not count unless you live in one of the states where there is a really close race. I live in NY which almost always goes overwhelming Democrat. I am a democrat so I am happy about that, but its hard to believe that my vote does anything. Without the electoral college, every single vote in the U.S. would count equally. Right now, voters in Florida and Ohio have much more important votes than mine.

Ann said...

Thanks everyone for such great responses! My question now is, who do you think is going to win and why?

Matthew said...

Sounds a lot like what I get asked in China. Unfortunately, my parents lost my absentee ballot and it's too late to request a new one because the consulate here doesn't help much with that.

A few years ago, some states were working on changing the electoral college by splitting the votes among the candidates rather than awarding all to the winner of the state. Can't remember if they're doing this for the presidential election though. Could really change the outcome in November.

virgomonkey said...

I think McCain is going to win. Why? It's too be to be true of Obama wins. Just a hunch of mine.

virgomonkey said...

Oops. I just re-read my comment. Where is my brain??? I meant to say, "It's too good to be true if Obama wins".

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longge said...
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