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Speaker: Dreams Do Come True

13 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm happy to say that you can see Tracey discussing the election and its media manifestations on Media3 tomorrow, 10.25am on TV3.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Islander,

    Joy! was my response to Barak Obama being re-elected.

    Love or hate the USA (and my personal feelings are an admixture of admiration & loathing) there is no doubt that that nation is a huge power, a huge influence on Aotearoa-New Zealand...

    My uncle Bill (who died in 1996*) used to say "Well, that's as likely as a black man in the White House." I wish he had been alive in 2008 - and, even better, in 2012.

    *He had his father's colouring, but his mother's Scots features. He was called Darkie by his school&work-mates - and that wasnt a nickname given without an intended sting.My mother has her mother's forbears colouring - but her father's Kai Tahu features - and aside from one of her new sisters-in-law remarking that it was clear she had ' a touch of the tarbrush', has never encountered the prejudice that uncle Bill frequently did...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report

  • Thomas Johnson,

    I always thought it was Barack? </pedant>

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report

  • Morgan Davie,

    I, um, dunno that Ta Nehisi Coates shares your feeling that race wasn't part of this election. I found this essay to be quite powerful on this point.

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 36 posts Report

  • Richard Aston,

    Yes I was happy and relieved to see Obama get back in. Thanks Tracey for the stats on who voted for him, it is inspiring and perhaps you are right about a sea change in the US, hope is good.

    On another note ..
    119 million Americans voted (according to the Wash Post) ie around 60% of eligible voters or in other words 80 million American voters didn't give a shit, or they were blocked by the dark republican tactics and gerrymandering.

    50% voted for Obama ie 59 million. Considering how dominant the US is in global affairs, that's 59 million people getting to tell us non Americans how the world should be run, but more importantly 80 million who don't or can't give a shit.

    I reckon the rest of the world should get those 80 million unused votes.
    Add 80 million global citizens to the "Brown, black, young, gay, urban and female" vote and I reckon Obama would have barely needed to campaign.

    Oh and we want global voting rights in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report

  • izogi,

    though America does believe that Barack Obama is still “the change we need”

    In that light, does anyone have any word on how much of America believes that a massive re-design of the electoral system is the change they need, to take it away from a mechanism where two massive mega-parties entrench themselves, keeping everyone else out, so that people have a two-way choice between "bad" and "even worse than bad"? Does it even register on people's mental spectrums as a problem, and if so is there any realistic chance that it could ever happen in today's or a future political environment short of a bloody revolution?

    I've just googled "US electoral system change", but anecdotally it seems the US idea of an "overhaul" is to get the existing system actually working as designed instead of considering if the design itself continues to be a good idea.

    Anyway, it's none of my business to tell people how to run their politics, but I find it interesting to watch from outside. I just think that if I lived under such a regime, I'd have a dreadful time trying to convince myself to even bother with it. I feel very spoiled with the NZ electoral environment.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Richard Aston,

    I reckon the rest of the world should get those 80 million unused votes.
    Add 80 million global citizens to the "Brown, black, young, gay, urban and female" vote and I reckon Obama would have barely needed to campaign.

    Oh and we want global voting rights in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well.

    Fair point, but I'd rather the world just put the USA back in its place as just one of many countries. I can't help but wonder how things would be if the world stopped so quickly and lightly facilitating the worst of the USA's global behaviour.

    As for Obama, I felt far more relief than joy at his victory. I'm looking forward to his second four years with a mixture of hope - for the reasons Tracey outlined - and apprehension about how the Republican Party and the far right are going to react.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report

  • Ana Simkiss,

    Tracey you were super in the TV3 election coverage - very well done. But as to your central thesis, as long as people are voting for racist reasons, the election and the electorate are not colour blind.

    It cannot be doubted that there were some votes cast against Obama because of pure old fashioned racism. I don't know if those remnants will ever be gotten rid of. Happily, the ones that are not prejudiced on race appear to now have a small majority and gaining. That is definitely something to celebrate.

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report

  • David Hood, in reply to izogi,

    if so is there any realistic chance that it could ever happen in today’s or a future political environment

    Individual states can change the process how they assign their votes (this was a ballot initiative for Colorado this year, I haven't seen how it did). What seems like is going to be the first successful outside of state reform is making the electoral college elect the president on the basis of winning the national popular vote. This is being done at through individual states signing on to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. It is about halfway to it's needed target.
    The things are that many republicans feel that a democratic is more likely to win the national vote (which they have in recent history) so republican states aren't keen on signing up, and rural states tend to feel that it diminishes the power of their states votes (not that there are many rural states that are not republican states).
    There have also been occasional attempts to make change at the federal level, such as during Nixon's presidency when an amendment getting rid of the Electoral College got through the house, but that died quickly in the Senate, let alone before consideration by the states. So, in general the likely solutions seem to be trying to work around it making the college irrelevant .

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report

  • Ana Simkiss, in reply to izogi,

    I strongly suspect that the reification of the constitution is a reason why wholesale electoral reform seems to be off the table.

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report

  • Robin,

    Didn't see the TV election coverage, Tracey, but this article is great to read for the interesting and optimistic take. thanks!

    Auckland • Since Jun 2012 • 8 posts Report

  • Matthew Poole,

    There's been call for a Constitutional Convention, which is the mechanism by which the entire Constitution could be redeveloped, but I don't think it's got too far. There are people who recognise that the entire system is broken, but their voices haven't yet reached a critical mass.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report

  • David Hood,

    With the election results I thought Charles Darwin did pretty well for both someone English and Long Dead.

    For those not aware, Georgia had a "evolution is a lie from the pit of hell" congressman running in a district so republican he was unapproved. So as a sign of protest people were putting Charles Darwin in as a write-in candidate. The only county to report the Charles Darwin vote has it at 2% of the unopposed republicans total. Which is better than the libertarians did nationally.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report

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