How attention-grabbing is the U.S. election to people in Asia, Africa, Europe or South America? We’ll talk with experts from around the world to get international perspectives on the U.S. election.

Melissa Chan, John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University; she is currently on leave from Al-Jazeera English where she was China correspondent for five years
John Burnett, interim East Africa correspondent for NPR
Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat professor for peace and development at the University of Maryland, senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and former adviser to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and the Iraq Study Group
David R. Ayon, U.S. director of the bi-national Focus Mexico/Enfoque México project at Loyola Marymount University and senior adviser to the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Marco Werman, host and senior producer with Public Radio International's "The World"

  • As a recent immigrant to the US, having moved here from New Zealand, it interesting seeing the process up close. The organisation and rules seems to have been designed to make voting hard to understand and time consuming. My wife’s voting instructions are one of the most complex documents I have ever seen designed to be used by an average person. No wonder the country in 2008, in a supposed historic turn-out, ranks 138th out of 169 countries for turnout.
    fig 13 http://www.idea.int/publications/vt/upload/Voter%20turnout.pdf

  • chrisco

    I definitely appreciate Marco Werman and “The World”. It’s good to hear him on the radio in the AM.

  • In 2008 I was passing through Germany and met with a German friend who had a very compelling reason for concern in German for US elections. According to my friend, more than 50% of German natural gas originates in Russia or passes through Russian pipelines, and most is used for cooking and heating. When a Republican is elected, there tends to be more saber rattling coming from the US directed to Russia which irritates the Russians who then, in various ways, threaten to shut off the natural gas that flows to Germany. I don’t think I’ve heard a more practical reason to support one US candidate or another.

  • Peter

    Michael Krasny said that neither Haaretz nor the Jerusalem Post officially endorsed either Obama or Romney. While it would make sense for a foreign newspaper to refrain from endorsing an American presidential candidate, Haaretz did run an editorial on November 2 declaring that “Obama is good for Israel”: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/obama-is-good-for-israel-1.473888

  • chrisco

    It’s funny because Ms. Chan mentioned that China can’t tell the difference between our candidates. China just picked a new leader, and I said earlier it is funny because Americans, even the more well-read ones who are aware of the Chinese process of ascension to leader, can’t tell the difference between the leading Chinese candidates.

    And this is with good reason: By and large, the results will be the same, the policies will be the same.

  • chrisco

    The reason why the vast majority of countries’ populations support Obama is because of the extreme nature of the today’s Republican Party. Democrats represent what in other countries would be the mainstream centrist parties – both right and left. Meanwhile, Republicans represent what would be the right-wing fringe groups, which normally would get maybe 5-20% of the vote.

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