The Race Around the World: New Zealand and China

In some countries, the American election is eclipsing the local one. Christina Balsom, a mother of three who lives in Cambridge, New Zealand, said that their general election (taking place on November 8th) is not getting nearly as much air time as the United States race.

“It is the New Zealand general election this Saturday, and no one from outside NZ seems to know about it,” she wrote in an email. “They had some people on the news last night saying that they were more interested in the result of the American election than NZ’s.”

Many of the facts seem to corroborate her sentiment; if one searches for “election” on google.co.nz, the first two stories that pop up are about the American election.

But not everyone is in such a tizzy about the Obama-McCain showdown.  Isaac Stone Fish, an American freelance writer and translator living in Beijing, said that people in China aren’t nearly as excited today as they have been about America in the past.

“The atmosphere is pretty normal here,” he writes. “I remember reading a lot about it in the papers during the primaries when people made a big deal about Obama being black but I have heard very little among the Chinese about the election. It seems like the vast majority of young expats here are democrats and anyone bearing any republican sentiments would be embarrassed into silence. When the Iraq War was still new people used to love to ask what we thought of ‘Little Bush’ attacking Iraq but they’ll have to come up with a new trite question now.”

(Keep checking thewatchword.com for more international perspectives throughout the day.)

By Katy Steinmetz

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