US Election History

Like many I have been keeping an eye on the Google chart below

2008 Election Results scroll down to the live graph/s

At the moment – late afternoon its lookimng very good for Obama with 207 247! 324!* out of the 270 EV’s that he needs. *In the space of 15mins the number jumped from 207 to 324 in favour of Obama. Looks like a done deal. Note: BY 5pm NZ time most of the US networks have called Obama as the new President.

I’m interested in what an Obama victory might mean for NZ and Australia ?

Obama and foreign policy generally?     (besides this list)

What do you think?

Looks like a night to watch the polls and hope the NZ elctions on the 8th will be half as interesting.

Version two of Swan Dive or Belly Flop? over at the NZX  Blog offers a glimmer of hope that at least some people are thinking about what is needed by way of ACTIONS rather than the pork barrel.

To quote Mark Weldon’s intro

“In terms of policy it has new ideas (e.g., lower corporate tax rate and the elimination of imputation, practical suggestions to improve public-private sector cohesion), significant refinements on previous ideas (e.g. refined proposals on provisional tax and depreciation), new analysis (e.g. on NZSF directing funds into the NZ economy in larger chunks, SOE performance, KiwiCo).

Some of these were entirely “externally” generated via feedback, especially on this blog. All benefited from such feedback. “

If you haven’t already go and download the updated discussion paper and have your input. The NZ Election is far too important to leave it to the politicians.  Have your say.

RE: the US Elections the History is Now discussion has a record number of comments and commenters so far. Media that enable online extensions are the big winners today.

One of the fascinating aspects is the role of micro blogs like twitter. Gives a clue to the various windshifts as you see them happen in a way that almost nothing else can.

I suspect many of us outside the US just can’t understand how a dinosaur and a clown were ever expected to go against perhaps the best Presidential candidate since the 60’s.

Even Thomas Friedman has noted that a vote for the Repulicans this time would have been rewarding incompetence.  He goes on to make quite a few other claims in this opinion piece from the NY Times.

‘In this election, the American public rejected these narrow notions of the common good,” argued Sandel. “Most people now accept that unfettered markets don’t serve the public good.

Markets generate abundance, but they can also breed excessive insecurity and risk. Even before the financial meltdown, we’ve seen a massive shift of risk from corporations to the individual.

Obama will have to reinvent government as an instrument of the common good — to regulate markets, to protect citizens against the risks of unemployment and ill health, to invest in energy independence.”

But a new politics of the common good can’t be only about government and markets. “It must also be about a new patriotism — about what it means to be a citizen,” said Sandel. “This is the deepest chord Obama’s campaign evoked.

The biggest applause line in his stump speech was the one that said every American will have a chance to go to college provided he or she performs a period of national service — in the military, in the Peace Corps or in the community.

Obama’s campaign tapped a dormant civic idealism, a hunger among Americans to serve a cause greater than themselves, a yearning to be citizens again.”

Roll on the 8th of November for NZ elections.

In case you missed the Obama acceptance speech – here it is (18m)

Change has come to America.. and the world.

Footnote: There was an interview with Player should popup George McGovern on Radio NZ this morning speaking with Kathryn Ryan.

Long-time Democratic Party stalwart who lost the 1972 presidential election to Richard Nixon. (duration: 15m43s)

McGovern mentions that Obama has the 3 I’s – Intelligence, Integrity and Imagination and compares him to Lincoln. They also talk about the huge sense of history and challenges that are being faced now.

I for one feel better about having a visionary in the White House. I believe he doesn’t actually get there till January but the next few months will hopefully see some detailed plans and the begining of some of those promises being realised.