Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thoughts on the Election from Abroad

I have made history. I have voted in the first online primary ever for expatriates. Only those who registered with Democrats Abroad could vote online, there was no online Republican primary. But that was fine with me as I was planning to vote Democratic. Once registered, voting took about one minute. Just had to sign in with name and password and choose the candidate and that was it. Very simple, fast, and efficient. A good experience overall.

From reading the Swiss newspapers, it is hard to tell who the Swiss want to win. The few articles I’ve read in Heute, the local free paper, seem to simply say, “Anything will be better than Bush,” and leave it at that.

The one last week began—“Who will be the next American President—a woman, a black man, a Vietnam Vet, or a Millionaire?” I guess that’s one way to look at it. But aren’t they all millionaires?
The big question that’s been bugging me when it comes to the coverage of the race so far is: Why is it Hillary versus Obama? Shouldn’t it be Senator Clinton versus Senator Obama? Or Barrack versus Hillary? It doesn’t seem fair to use the woman’s first name and the opposing candidate’s last name. At least be consistent. We never had to hear about Bill versus Gore. Or John versus Romney. But even a paper in the UK had this headline last year: “Hillary and Obama vote to cut off Iraq funding.”

Women, like men, deserve respect. If we want change, it should start with a name. It’s something subtle and sometimes unnoticed. But really, something this small would be a huge step ahead for all women. Whether one becomes president or not.

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