Wednesday, November 5, 2008


After more than two years of campaigning, yesterday America finally elected a new president. I can' believe this long fight has finally come to an end, and even with the result I was hoping for. It's taken me all day to take in the realities - Obama won! What a great chance for the World! Thank you America.

I only have one regret: I wasn't there. We had the best tip ever to the US and enjoyed every single day and every single person who took the time to talk with us about values, hopes and opinions on the future of this great country, but for sure we should've stayed until the election. For some reason it wasn't quite the same to sit in Denmark and watch the election half the night. Where I really wanted to be was here ..or maybe here.

That being said, I am extremely happy that so many Americans fulfilled their civic duty and voted. According to the latest news, more than 62 % of all eligible voters exercised their right and that number is the highest in more than 40 years!

January 20th. January 20th is the day this amazing guy will be moving to that big white house, and rest assured I would sell my right arm (or maybe a kidney?) to be in DC for the official inauguration. The expectations to Obama are so sky high that I don't really know how he'll ever be able to fulfill our hopes for change. But we'll await him and the new administration with great excitement and all I can say is YES WE COULD!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is the day!

This is it! The day we've been waiting for!
Please do remember to vote today..

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Real Straight Talk

Obama's values, politics and visions for America doesn't get more clearer than in this excellent video.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If the world could vote..

Being a European, deciding who I would vote for in the election is an easy choice. That's not to say that I don't see both good and bad sides to both candidates, but to be frank - in my mind, the choice has been made - Obama is my guy.

Of course only Americans are allowed to vote - and quite naturally, as the USA is an independent country. However, in some aspects it would be more than fair to let the rest of the world vote as well. You guys are in fact electing the most important and powerful person on the planet. American politics affect the rest of the world more than I think most Americans are aware of. Everyday we follow in horror the crashing American stockmarkets and banks, knowing that we will be next. As a matter of fact, Denmark has already, along with most European countries, experienced the consequences of the financial crises and just like most Americans we fear that we haven't seen the end to this nightmare yet.

For this reason, I have for some days been following several articles that focus on who would win the election - could the world vote. Several polls have shown that Obama has the upper hand in this election and there are several reasons for the positive attitudes towards him. Europeans see Obama as a symbol of the American dream, and hope for more collaboration across the Atlantic than has been common during the Bush years. Just like many Americans, the Europeans like the messages of hope and change.

I recently found a new initiative, which has been started by 3 guys from Iceland. Like the rest of us, they are interested in what the rest of the world think of the candidates. Their goal is 1 million votes before the election. Please take a minute to cast your vote for either candidate on:


Monday, October 27, 2008

Why we believe!

Our parents remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard that Kennedy was dead.

If Obama gets elected that will be our thing to remember and it will be the change that will alter our world and of which we will speak of in the future.

We believe in Obama because he believes in the people. Contrary to the Republican rhetoric and the fear rhetoric of the Bush administration Obama gives people hope. He has the audacity to believe that we as human beings are greater things than fear, war and financial crisis.
It may be weird for some that we as Danish citizens feel this strongly about another nation's future - but what stands clear in my mind is an article about Bush and Anders Fogh (our prime minister) jogging and joking together.

Behind this apparently innocent act of friendship lies a Danish participation in the Iraq war. Most Americans don't even know that we are in this war as well - and this one thing has made me realise how closely politics is related to one another. We are influenced greatly by American politics - and that's why we believe in Obama.

We believe that he can change this influence for the better - we believe that he wont engage the world in illegal wars - and we believe that his warm belief in the people will not only benefit the US - but the whole world.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

To vote or not to vote - that is the question

It came as a surprise to me, but according to official information from the Danish Parliament, Denmark has one of the highest voting percentages in the world. As a matter of fact, 84,5 % of all eligible votes exercised their right to vote when we had a parliamentary election i 2005. I guess there are two major reasons for the Danish eagerness to vote. Firstly, being a small country we are always close to the people in power, and secondly, we receive out voting ballots automatically in the mail about two weeks before the election.

As a result, many Danes are interested in politics and know quite a bit about what is going on - both on local, regional and national level. A hot discussion topic right now is actually whether to lower the legal voting age from 18 to 16.

Being a Danish citizen, it thus puzzles me why many Americans don't seem to be interested in voting. In the 2006 presidential election, only 46.3 % of eligible Americans voted. After some research and many talks with people in DC, Virginia and Chicago, Illinois, I found some possible reasons.

  • Voter registration - or lack of it. Registering is a long and winded road, and many people never find the way through the jungle. At the same time, there are strict regulations for who can vote and before which date one must register. In many cases contact with authorities and/or re-registration is needed if a person moves.

  • Distance from the centre of power. The USA is a magnificent country of incredible size. I have now travelled there a few times, and I always get surprised by the long distances. However, as a result of the size, the diversity of cultures within the nation and the complicated division of power between federal and state level, it is only natural that many Americans feel a distance to the centre of power in Washington, DC. This distance has as well been a theme in the present election, where Sarah Palin was introduced as a breath of fresh air as she has not been involved in the political turmoil in the nation's capital.

  • Timing. Many Americans struggle to put food on the table and the present financial crisis has not improved their situation. Working double shifts has made it difficult for many to vote, as they will have to take unpaid leave to go vote. In that sense, the decision to place the election on a Tuesday has not make it easier for them. One solution to the problem is voting early, which is possible until Oct. 30th. Judging from the people we met on our trip, quite a few people have chosen to vote early in this election as to ensure their vote will count and as to avoid turmoil and queues at voting places.

  • Feeling of lack of influence on matters.  With the last two elections being so tight, many Americans feel a sense of hopelessness and we have thus met quite a few people who have told us that they don't see the point in voting. However, there is a sense of hope among people who tend to vote for the Democratic party, and we have thus also met quite a few newly registered first-time voters on this trip.
I recently saw an ad for an initiative that tries to get more young people exited about voting. The initiative is called the 'The National Student/Parent Mock Election' and in the 2002 election it managed to get more than 1 million students and parents involved in the 'trial-election'. The initiative is aimed at teaching the kids about democracy and all the practical things related to voting in an election. Available for free online is as well teaching materials and discussion topics on real life problems facing the USA at the moment.

Time will show if initiatives like these have any effects on getting out the vote, but no matter the outcome I see it as a good way to educate and engage young people in the nation's politics. Personally, I think that we need to honor the past and the people who fought for our rights (as women; African-Americans etc.) to vote. I thus see voting not only as a right, but also as a duty. I am not saying that making it against the law not to vote like in Australia is the solution, but how can I disagree and complain about my government and its politics if I didn't bother to vote?

Today's lesson is thus: please remember to vote. History shows that 100 votes can determine who gets to run the country for the next four years. Exercise your right to influence the election.