Monday, October 20, 2008

A View of U.S. Politics from Ireland

A citizen of Ireland who works in ISP network support, says of the U.S.: "I love the place! I've worked for one American company or another most of my life. If I were to choose a word I've read on American news sites to describe my political views it would probably be 'liberal'

What do you have to say about the coverage of Senator McCain's speech at the Republican convention:
"In general the press [in Ireland] was positive about the speech but much was made of his choice for VP. It seemed as if she was chosen more for political reasons than to provide the best possible candidate for the job, specifically to cater to the evangelical voters. However, following her treatment at the hands of various bloggers and liberal sites coverage turned far more sympathetic towards her (mention was made of the treatment of her daughter by the press and a claim that one of her children with Down's Syndrome wasn't really her child)."
He adds that Fox, CNN, MSNBC and CNBC as well as Sky News, BBC News and Euronews and the news on the main 3 channels in Ireland are there for the viewing so there's always something on about the election.

What about a woman for VP?
"The male/female question is barely discussed on the news except for how it affects voters in the U.S. Ireland has had it's current female president, Mary McAleese, since 1997, and before her was another female president (Mary Robinson). Both had done exceptionally well in the job and brought more attention to an office that used to be considered quite unimportant. Although we have yet to have a female Taoiseach, I don't think it'll be long before that happens either. The race issue is also only discussed as it affects the tactics in the election and how it's 'playing out' in the U.S."

What’s the general consensus about the possible outcome?
"It is that if it's Obama there's a good chance the U.S. will pull through the current recession with more of a chance than with McCain at the wheel. With Russia becoming more active again there's a good chance that Iran could become a flashpoint during the next term (if not before the end of President Bush's term), especially if Tehran goes ahead and dumps the petro-dollar in favour of the petro-euro or worse, the petro-rubel. Most sources I read or watch agree that Obama has the temperament and ideas to work with other nations and lead instead of the unilateral action or the 'you're with us or against us' rhetoric that only alienates allies and makes enemies rub their hands in glee."

And McCain?
"The feeling is that Senator McCain is just another George W. Bush in waiting and I can't stress how unpopular President Bush is in Ireland at the moment over the war in Iraq and our own government's complicity in rendition flights through Shannon Airport from 2003-2006."

What is the most important issue that concerns the people in Ireland?
"Right now the foreign-policy issues concerning most people here are a resurgent Russia and the EU's energy dependency on it and the recently-rejected Lisbon treaty. The feeling is that we need a strong America, showing sound leadership for the first, and more democracy in the workings of the EU for the second. "

A good place to get a feel for Irish views on the election would be their national broadcaster's website (http://www.rte.ie/news/).
Here are two other helpful links:
http://www.irishtimes.com/world/
http://www.independent.ie/world-news/americas/

1 comment:

ellis said...

I really like this interview (it's nice getting a global perspective).
You should do more interviews on this blog.