Tuesday, November 4, 2008

They’re at the post…they’re off!

By this time tonight, we can reasonably expect that the presidential election south of the border will have been decided.

Few U.S. election results have been as anticipated by so many around the world. From Canada to Germany, France, the United Kingdom, in fact, all across Europe millions have a sense of expectation as the next world leader is selected in America. Many of those folks will stay up most of the night to hear the final results.

Interest also runs high in the Muslim world—the Bush administration having alienated Muslims by mistreating prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and inmates at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Senator John McCain has enjoyed strong support in Israel, where he is perceived as tougher on Iran. Publicly, Israeli leaders have remained neutral, but privately, they have expressed concern about Obama. Even in Europe, Senator McCain has received grudging respect: Germany's daily Bild praised his as a war hero.

And Senator McCain enjoys pockets of support elsewhere, but Senator Barack Obama seems to have by far the most support outside America. Obama-mania is evident across Europe and in much of the Islamic world. In Canada, support for Senator Obama may be as high as 80 per cent.

For many around the world, though, their most common emotion is relief. Relief that the two-term George W. Bush administration that spawned the Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and a world-wide financial and economic crisis is coming to an end…finally.

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