General discussion


Non-US Citizens *especially*, who would YOU vote for?

By TomSal ·
Ok this is sure to be a can of worms, judging by past threads on this board over politically charged issues -- but then that's partly why I'm asking it as well.

This question is for EVERYONE of course, however I'm *especially* interested in the views of non-US citizens or ok I'll say it bluntly...folks who really don't care about the US even.

There is only one condition - you can't say you'd vote for no one because that's a cop out and its too easy to get out of the discussion with that answer.

However anyone who is on the ballot for president is fair game -- this includes even Nader.

Please explain the reasons why.

I'm very much genuinely interested in the feedback on this one.



This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

An interesting discussion to have on a tech website

by Pooksmin In reply to Non-US Citizens *especial ...

...but worth talking about none the less. I am from South Africa and I'm confident that quite a few South Africans have the same view as me. When the Trade centres were attacked, I was devastated and felt a huge amount of compassion for the American people. This, of course, happened in the first year of George W.'s term. Since then, my view has changed 180 degrees. This president must be doing something wrong when it comes to managing the rest of the world's impression of the US. I have visited the US and the people I met were great - I feel sorry for them that they have to be represented by this man. I'm sure that Pres. Bush is a charasmatic guy in private but anyone who wants to destroy natural environments in Alaska for oil needs his values questioned. I'm not pro Democrat nor Republican - the US needs anyone who respects that the US is part of a world full of people with their own cultures and ideals - not someone who forces their own culture onto others and shows no tolerance. Don't come to us for sympathy for the thousands killed in the Trade centre attacks when you're willing to kill just as many innocents in other parts of the world.

Collapse -

False assumptions run amok

by maxwell edison In reply to An interesting discussion ...

You said, "...anyone who wants to destroy natural environments in Alaska for oil needs his values questioned."

To that I might suggest that anyone who believes that President Bush WANTS to destroy natural environments in Alaska for oil, needs their reason questioned. It's that kind of rhetoric that distorts the real issue, and makes the solution to a problem even more evasive.

Just because a person is in favor of drilling for oil in Alaska, it does not automatically mean that he wants to destroy the environment. What a silly and misguided assumption to make.

To the contrary, there is a large contingent of people in America who actually believe that we can drill for oil in an environmentally friendly way. Why do we think that? Gee, because we are doing it right now. Just because some people want to increase domestic production a bit, so we may become less dependent on foreign oil, it doesn't automatically equate to an ecological disaster.

We can tap into oir own oil AND do it in an environmentally friendly way. I wonder if the folks in South Africa can say the same things when it comes to their mining.

As to the latter part of your message, same old song, different verse, and not in touch with reality.

Collapse -

You've just proven my point....

by Pooksmin In reply to False assumptions run amo ...

I assume that you are from the US and therefore, you probably know a lot more about what's going on there than me (and in turn I know a bit more about SA, and yes, our mines are doing fine thank you). If Pres. Bush IS making an effort to mine in an environmentally friendly manner (yet I'm still not quite convinced considering his approach to the Kyoto treaty) then why isn't the rest of the world seeing it??? I'm not discounting the fact that he may be making the effort - the rest of us just don't hear of it. We are clouded by all of the "bad" things he gets involved in - I just don't think he's talented when it comes to building a good impression of himself. And he's been at it for so long now it's going to take a lot to prove us wrong......

Collapse -

What point did I prove? And on Kyoto

by maxwell edison In reply to You've just proven my poi ...

Forgive me, but I don't understand what point of yours I proved. (It's late.) Will you rephrase?

But on Kyoto, the U.S. Constitution requires that a treaty be sent to our Senate for its approval. Moreover, two-thirds of the U.S. Senate, not just a simple majority, must approve of a treaty - any treaty - before it can become law. In the summer of 1997, the U.S. Senate voted against entering into the Kyoto treaty by a vote of 95-0 (5 Senators did not vote). Sure, President Bush is against the Kyoto treaty, but so were 95 U.S. Senators in 1997 - about half Democrats and half Republicans, and just about the same number are against it today.

The Kyoto treaty was (is) plagued with problems and inconsistencies, at least that's my understanding. (No, I haven't studied the issue, nor do I care to.) I suppose that's why the USA is not the only industrialized nation NOT to ratified Kyoto. Do a little research and discover what other industrialized nations are against it.

Without getting off on a Kyoto tangent, let's just say that it was not a good deal for America to enter into. Whatever you heard about our rejection of it, and whatever spin was put on that, is unknown to me.

What I do know, however, is that President Bush was not the president in 1997, and even if he did try to push it through our Congress today, they would reject it again. And for good reason, from what I understand. If you want to "blame" anybody, blame our Congress, not President Bush. But like I said, I really don't want to go off on that tangent.

Collapse -


by Pooksmin In reply to What point did I prove? A ...

Lets not get onto the Kyoto tangent :-) The point that you have proven: what I, as a non US citizen, see and hear of President Bush (along with many other non US citizens, otherwise this discussion would never have been initiated)is HUGELY different from the view of many US citizens. Which I suppose isn't so surprising as you live there and I don't. BUT it is a problem when the actions of a man (who of course is influenced by senators, congress members and the list goes on..)has lead to a general feeling amongst many non US citizens of contempt, and sometimes downright hate, against the US. The IMPRESSION Pres Bush is portraying is one of an arrogant, greedy, inarticulate man who believes he wields the power to dictate to others how they should live. Like I said in my first posting, I've visited the US - and you guys deserve better then this man. And I know that many of you feel the same - anti-war demonstrations, movies like Fahrenheit 9/11 all show that it's not just non US citizens feel this way.

Collapse -

I understand but don't know what to do

by maxwell edison In reply to Agreed

You said, ".....The IMPRESSION Pres. Bush is portraying is one of an arrogant, greedy, inarticulate man who believes he wields the power to dictate to others how they should live."

With all due respect, as a point of accuracy, I might suggest that the impression other sources are giving you is portraying him as such.

I'll give you two examples of this phenomenon, that illustrate what I mean. One of them can be found in our very own messages in this very own thread.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when you said, "....considering his approach to the Kyoto treaty....", I assume you formed such an opinion based on what you have been seeing/reading in various news sources in your country.

Here's President Bush's actual stand on Kyoto:

"I oppose the Kyoto Protocol because it exempts 80% of the world, including major population centers such as China and India, from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the US economy. The Senate's vote, 95-0, shows that there is a clear consensus that the Kyoto Protocol is an unfair and ineffective means of addressing global climate change concerns. As you also know, I support a comprehensive and balanced national energy policy that takes into account the importance of improving air quality. Consistent with this balanced approach, I intend to work with the Congress on a multi-pollutant strategy to require power plants to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury. Any such strategy would include phasing in reductions over a reasonable period of time, providing regulatory certainty, and offering market-based incentives to help industry meet the targets. I do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide, which is not a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. A recently released DOE Report, Analysis of Strategies for Reducing Multiple Emissions from Power Plants, concluded that including caps on carbon dioxide emissions as part of a multiple emissions strategy would lead to an even more dramatic shift from coal to natural gas for electric power generation and significantly higher electricity prices compared to scenarios in which only sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides were reduced. This is important new information that warrants a reevaluation, especially at a time of rising energy prices and a serious energy shortage. Coal generates more than half of America's electricity supply. At a time when California has already experienced energy shortages, and other Western states are worried about price and availability of energy this summer, we must be very careful not to take actions that could harm consumers. This is especially true given the incomplete state of scientific knowledge of the causes of, and solutions to, global climate change and the lack of commercially available technologies for removing and storing carbon dioxide. Consistent with these concerns, we will continue to fully examine global climate change issues - including the science, technologies, market-based systems, and innovative options for addressing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. I am very optimistic that, with the proper focus and working with our allies, we will be able to develop technologies, market incentives, and other creative ways to address global climate change."
- President GW Bush

Now that seems like a pretty reasonable approach. Moreover, when it really came down to a vote in the USA, President Bush had nothing to do with it at all. Why do you have the impression that he, somehow, single-handedly struck it down?

I was in another discussion with an Australian who absolutely swore that President Bush said that he wanted to rule the world. Why was this Australian given the impression that President Bush wanted to rule the world? Not because President Bush said it, but because someone reported that he said it. It was a blatent fabrication.

Neither you or the Australian was correct in your "impression". I could cite hundreds of such examples, if I wanted to take the time.

In my opinion, President Bush is inaccurately portrayed around the world. Why? I don't really have a good answer without risking going into the tired-old rhetoric about a biased media, but misleading people is certainly a possibility, and I gave two such examples of it happening.

Agree or disagree with his policies, that's all fine and dandy. But he is not arrogant. He is not greedy. He is not inarticulate. He does not believe that he wields the power to dictate to others how they should live. Those things are false, and I'm certain that you did not form those "impressions" by following the actual person, reading the actual speeches, seeing the actual events first hand, but rather reading and listening to what others have said about him.

Why does this happen with such frequency? I have no idea. What can I do about it? All I can do is try to explain in a civil way why those things are extremely inaccurate.

Why were you under the impression the President Bush "was handling Kyoto" in any particular way at all, when, in reality, it was our U.S. Congress's handling of Kyoto? Because someone else, apparently, convinced you as much. It's obviously inaccurate, as we now know. So the bigger question is why do you continue to believe inaccurate sources?

Collapse -

I take your point

by Pooksmin In reply to I understand but don't kn ...

You're right - of course my views of Pres Bush are based on what I see in the media - and so are yours. And of course Bush doesn't "single-handedly" run his country - no president does, they all have advisors etc etc. All I know for sure is that something has gone very wrong in the last three years with respect to the world's attitude towards the US. As for your comment that I believe "inaccurate sources": you've participated in the other TR discussion on media censorship in the US - and I think you should be asking yourself the same question. There was so much censorship in SA during the apartheid era - since then things have come full circle - I am exposed to the views from South African news, CNN, SkyNews, BBC News, Chinese News, African Arabic News, (the last two with subtitles ;-)), even a bit of Al-Jahzeera . Can you say the same? I respect your opinion and you do seem to be backing it up with good evidence unlike some on the censorship discussion (and it's a perk that I'm conversing with someone who has sufficient vocabulary to dull the need for profanities:-)) All I'm saying is that I'm not the only one with these opinions. And perhaps we are putting too much of the blame on Bush alone - I think this feeling of resentment has been building up for a while (the attacks on the Trade Centres were probably planned way before Bush came into power). I think the US needs someone who can radically change the US's approach to international affairs, and I don't think Bush, along with his administration, are the ones to do it. If you are happy with the way Bush manages domestic affairs, that's great - I can't comment on that because I really don't experience it. But I urge American citizens (some, not all) to realise that the "American dream" will be rudely awoken if international relations (with ALL nations) are not treated with respect.

Collapse -

Hard to answer

by JamesRL In reply to Non-US Citizens *especial ...

As a Canadian, I recognise that many of the issues between us have been going on for some time, and frankly its a bunch of congresscritters that harm us most, not the president.

Softwood lumber is a fine example. Canada and the US have a "free" trade agreement. The dispute mechanism was agreed upon. But despite that fact the US has challenged Canada on softwood lumber three times in the last ten years. Each time, the US wants more concessions than Canada will give. The US lets the talks end then charges tariffs on softwood lumber imports(which affects the price of new houses in the US BTW).

Each time it goes to trade court, Canada wins, and the US starts up 6 months later with another challenge. 3 times in court, everytime the same result. Why does it happen? Because the congressmen from lumber producing states have a powerful lobby and can make it happen. BTW the "unfair" accusation from the US is that Canada unfairly subsidises softwood production - but in reality Canada just charges less to lumber companies who cut on federal land than the US government does. And if you look at how much federal land we have, you'd understand why.

Relations were more cordial under Clinton than now, but the issues have not chaged in any case.

I would probably spoil my ballot - Kerry seems protectionist and I think thats pissing in the wind. Bush is often anti-Canadian


Collapse -

This won't matter so much to non-US citizens...

by mlayton In reply to Non-US Citizens *especial ...

...who will focus a lot on the International policies and representations, but let's also remember the president plays a domestic role as well. My son will be starting school in just under 4 years - I can't suffer through another term of Bush's dismal educational policies and priorities. So Kerry will get my vote in hopes that the domestic situation, especially in regards to education, will improve in time to affect my son.

Collapse -

The choice seems like a no-brainer

by maxwell edison In reply to This won't matter so much ...

President Bush is in favor of giving you a tuition voucher so that you, as a parent who accepts full and total responsibility for the children you bring into this world, can decide what's best for your own child, and choose whatever educational environment you deem appropriate. John Kerry, on the other hand, is in favor of forcing you to send your child to the government run school of the government's choosing, teaching the agenda they deem appropriate, even if the school has a history of failure.

And did you know that it's possible to educate a child at a top-rate private school for the same cost as a dismally run government run school? You don't believe me? Do some research and discover how much - per student - it costs to maintain the government run schools in your district, and compare it to the average cost of private schools in your area. In my case, my district spends $6,500 per student, and a lot of private schools' tuition are in that range or lower. (Yes, some are higher, but it remains the choice of the parents who accepts full and total responsibility for the children they bring into this world.)

In some of the most dismal districts, in New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C, et al, they spend closer to 10 grand per student to send each student to failing government run schools.

Open up competition in the "school business", and supply will increase, quality will improve, and your children will be the beneficiary.

You know, it might just be me, but the choice seems like a no-brainer - especially for parents who accepts full and total responsibility for the children they bring into this world.

Related Discussions

Related Forums