What’s your experience of the American election?

Yesterday (Tuesday Nov 6) I began adding comments to esi ’08 poem, noticing the election process ’12, watching from Ghana instead of ’08 when I watched from London.

I wonder what the experiences are of anyone reading from different countries. I’ll link to my comments here hoping you will add your own.

  1. 7:50 a.m. GMT in Ghana and I feel a world apart from being among “my people” today, America’s election day. I’m in a limbo space — I’m already at work (here in Ghana) yet American polling places are still hours from opening (there in American). When I go to sleep tonight, Americans will still be voting, plausibly even on the east coast. I’ll set an alarm to wake at 3 a.m. and see how the results are coming along, then perhaps again at 5 a.m. when I normally rise more information will be available.

    4 years ago during the elections, I was teaching in Southwestern’s London study abroad program. I remember the similar limbo of time zones, though somehow felt closer to the information…perhaps a factor of BBC. But I’ve heard stories from faculty here (Ghana) that they did here what I did in London in 2008, wake about 2 or 3 a.m. (GMT) and gather to watch and listen. In London by 5 a.m., I was wrapped in a blanket in my dark flat listening simultaneously to the pre-dawn silence of a cosmopolitan city and to the acceptance speech of a man who was making history thousands of miles away and yet somehow also very proximal in that place called home.

  2. 8:30 p.m. GMT, a full day of teaching and learning at Ashesi and it’s only lunch time in California. We’re watching the television where the Ghanian vice-presidential debates are being broadcast live, and just finished with the BBC’s world round up telling us there will be news about the American elections in “just a few hours.

    Time to sleep in Ghana so I can wake at 4 a.m. GMT and hear how things are going in America around their 11 p.m. ET evening news.

    I suppose what matters is what’s in front of any of us at any given time. After all, a special friend turns 10 today; that is a genuinely big day.

  3. Just after 5 a.m. GMT Woke an hour ago and needed a light sweater as I listened to BBC radio deciding whether to get out of bed and turn on the television. Now an hour later, it;s still dark, I’ve shed the sweater, and the roosters are crowing.

    Electoral college votes have been called for Obama and popular vote nearly even. The electoral college system seemed strange to a Ghanaian at lunch yesterday when he realized it is a “winner take all” per state system when here (Ghana) it;s a one-person-one-vote system.

    BBC focus is on the divided nation. The amount of time required to build international relations is being combed region and nation by nation. Speculation focused on implications for global world. I wonder what stories I’m hearing that differ from the stories being told in the .U.S.

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2 responses to “What’s your experience of the American election?

  1. My wife, Ginny, and I started watching the voting results on CNN at 6:00 p.m. C.S.T. in Georgetown, Texas. Romney already had a projected electoral vote lead of 19-3, with near 0% of the east coast vote counted. Gotta luv it! At 10:30ish, CNN declared Obama the winner with more than 270 electoral votes (and it wasn’t the first TV network to do so)—and this was without even knowing how the supposedly critical Ohio, et al. votes went, which was the topic of discussion all night. Some polls were still open throughout the country, with some having problems and staying open later. Seemed to be over so quickly, given how close it was suppose to be…SIGH, excitement over….went to bed at 11:00 p.m…

    • Was there any media attention or personal conversations about the disparity between the electoral college numbers and the popular vote numbers? Several people here in Ghana have asked me why the BBC talked about it so much — what does it matter. I suspect that comes from political systems that don’t have the checks and balances of our House and Senate, meaning that past the election itself, political or ideological collaboration need not happen among those in formal power or between the formal and informal leaders. Just a guess.

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