Lessons from the victor...

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When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.  
~Victor Frankl

Looks like I'm waking up a little late to this, but Barak Hussein Obama is the president elect of the United States of America. Most Americans celebrated his election. Nothing special about it according to me though, because when you are down in the dumps, even a slight indication of fore coming change seems to be for the better, and causes you to begin celebrating. And the Americans think they have been sent their messiah in Mr. Obama. As much as I would like to see their wishes come true, I don't quite see a big change in the American way of dominating with nothing substantial for the backing. 

OK, he may call back his marines from Iraq, cut down on outsourcing, find out a way to turn around the sinking economy, but in the long run, he would remain the same Uncle Sam - an American president, with rigidity and selfishness written all over him. And so, my very enthusiastic and optimistic friends in back in India, who are all too excited over the colour of his skin, might just be in for some rude shocks. I wouldn't want to speculate, but the implications that I see, in my virtual crystal ball will start taking shape and affecting us pretty soon. 

Still, the way they went about conducting elections in the world's oldest democracy was a lesson in itself, a diligently crafted piece of work, taking a leaf out of which would do the world's largest democracy no harm.
  • The American voter did have a leader in mind. At least they knew their future president would be one of the two, unlike India where the PM is decided well after the results and after frantic buying and selling by all the parties involved.
  • The American voter knew each leader's views on every possible bone of contention doing the round of world markets - so whether it was oil prices, troop call back from Iraq, Gay relationships, single motherhood, or anything that an American voter could be concerned about, their were history sheets, taken out for both the running candidates and their running mates, and the issue was raked up in the public debates as well.
  • The campaigning was a really civilized, where the two of them fought each other one on one, in public debates, again unlike India, where leaders address fragmented rallies, conjure local issues, play with people's emotions and ensure themselves handsome votes.
  • I forgot this one, or did not mention it as emphatically as I should have, but the fact that there are just two parties in the USA helps a lot. You know one will win, you know both are different for their very ideals, and you can choose one and continue to support them for they stand for, yes again, unlike India where the 900 odd political parties don't have a stand of their own and policies are dictated and changed each day, by directive of the currently dominant member of a 40 odd party coalition.   
  • And finally we as citizens of a so called glorious democratic nation need to rise up past petty local and rather personal issue, and vote with a social and common good in mind for the country to progress.  
Errr... Sorry, but whom do I address this to if I want to see my country change the way it goes about conducting its elections? 

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Thus spoke the wor(l)dly wise