How the Rest of the World Feels about the U.S. Election

With foreign policy being a major issue in this year’selection, many people in countries throughout the world have viewson who they think should be elected the next president of the United States.

“Whathappens in America affects us all,” said Girma Hagos whowatches the battle for the White House in an Internet cafe inAddis Ababa, Ethiopia.  He believes that John Kerry is the bettercandidate.  “I think he will show more interest inAfrica.”

Many people inLatin America believe that negative feelings toward theUnited States have escalated since George W. Bush tookoffice.  Research associate for the Council on HemisphericAffairs, Anna Ioakimedes, states, “According to a surveyrecently conducted by the Santiago-based polling firmLatinobarometro, negative opinions of the United Statesheld throughout Latin Americaand the Caribbean have doubled since President George W. Bushtook office in 2001.”

Maria Jose daConceiao, from the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies Foreign Affairsand National Defense Commission said, “the majority ofBrazilian parliamentarians, including many conservatives, preferKerry and are anti-Bush.”

Since theIraq war, many Japanese have come to dislike Bush aswell.  Even though the majority of people in Japandislike Bush, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumigives him strong support.  “I don’t want tointerfere in a foreign country’s election,” saidKoizumi.  “But I am familiar with President Bush, and Iwant him to carry on.”

Many Japanese aredissatisfied with Koizumi tagging along with Bush.  Koizumihas appeared to ignore Japanese public opinion, and he continues toback Bush without adequately explaining why he supportshim.  

People inLondon are worried about the voting process in theUnited States.  Andrew Gumbel a writer for the U.KIndependent wrote, “No need to wonder if this year’selection is headed for another meltdown:  the meltdown hasalready started.  The voting machines have already begun tobreakdown, accusations of systematic voter suppression and fraudarerampant, and lawyers fully armed and ready with intimateknowledge of the nations Byzantine election laws have flocked tocourt to cry foul in half a dozen states.”

According to JimLobe, from the World Press Review, the general consensus in theUnited Kingdom is that the foreign policy of theUnited States has gotten worse underBush. 

A surveyconducted by GlobeScan and the University ofMaryland‘s Program on International PolicyAttitudes, found that Kerry was favored over Bush out of the 35countries that were polled. The only countries where the majorityof the respondents said their opinions of the United Statesforeign Policy under Bush had improved were thePhilippines, India andThailand.

Because there issuch a great interest in the 2004 election not only in theUnited States, but throughout the world, websites havebeen created so that the rest of the world can be involved in theelection.  On web sites such as www.worldpeace.org.au/virtualelection.asp,people can vote on who they think should be the next United StatesPresident.  The U.S. election coverage will bebroadcasted across the world, and foreigners will soon discoverwhat approach the next U.S president will take in the area offoreign policy.