Tuesday, November 11, 2008


It's been quite a week, what with two elections and all.

First, unless you've been hiding in the crawl space for the last week, you'll be aware that America did indeed elect Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. I went out on Sunday night with a few friends and posted some hand-made Obama signs around town (see pic). Come Monday morning and most of the signs had been torn down but there are still a few up here and there a week later. Tuesday night was rather fantastic, and Obama's acceptance speech was really uplifting (in contrast to that of John Key's). I went to a party and there was a lot of drinking and cheering to be had, and some crying. Honestly, in the circles I move in, had Obama not won I don't know what would have happened. I think there might have been real despair, and it's finally nice to live in an America that at least seems like it wants to live up to its ideals.

Incidentally, when I switched my phone service over to Comcast today I had quite a good conversation with the operator who, despite being a Tennessee football fan, was happy to talk politics. He wanted to know what New Zealanders made of the election and I said, I think the World has fallen in love with America again. He really liked that, and I could tell he was proud to hear that.

Of course, Obama has a lot of work to do. It's easy to like the man: he's intelligent, young, hopeful, etc. I'd like to point out that he's smart. Did I mention that? He has created a lot of expectations but I do think he will do a good job.

And, yes, I must mention the NZ election, which NPR told me had gone to National when I woke up on Saturday morning. The reporter seemed genuinely surprised that NZ had ousted Labour and, what's more, puzzled with John Key. I'm disappointed because I've lived in a right-wing governed country for the last seven years and I've seen what I believe are the really bad side of right-wing social economics: users pays, expensive health care, underfunded public education, to name a few things. That's the direction that NZ once again finds itself moving in. I hope that National is moderate in its governance.

Russell Brown, of Public Address fame, wrote quite a good column leading up to the election about how this Labour government will be looked on favourably in the years to come and I think this is true. Helen Clark did a good job, a very good job. It's sad to see her go.

I won't finish on a down note, though. The Alabama Crimson Tide is ranked #1 in the country for football and we're going to the SEC championship. They beat LSU this weekend in Overtime. My heart can't take this.

1 comment:

dellyk1 said...

You're the greatest! No irony (or whatever they call it these days) involved, I've lost the stomach for that--literally since I was five years old.
I love you and am I not afraid to say it so publicly. I admire you.