Do US elections actually affect Europe?

I pried my eyes open this morning far too early and had a smoke as I watched some news on television which concerned Europe’s interest in the Presidential elections here. From what I noticed, they seem almost more concerned as to who gets elected than we do and various reasons were given from the strength of the Euro to the stock market.

Does the USA really make that much of an impact on the globe? I mean, I’m aware of changes of political parties and rulers of other nations, but generally don’t give a hoot unless the changes are anti-American in a powerful country, like Russia. What with all of the flack we seem to generate from most nations going from our prison systems, which have us on the Crimes Against Humanity website right up there with Russia, to consuming too much oil, I thought our elections did not affect the rest of the world all that much.

If they do, then the planet is in trouble. We have several presidential candidates, but all we hear about is the two fools from the two parties and the electoral slander filling the commercial time on TV reminds me of children squabbling with each other.

Thank goodness for the mute button.

It doesn’t have to have much of an effect to be newsworthy Reboot42. A good news service will tell you about things that don’t affect your life but are interesting anyway. I’m in Australia, not Europe, and just today there was a small article arguing that the result of your election will probably have no effect on us. I fully expect coverage to continue regardless. A landslide in India has no effect on me but it is nonetheless a newsworthy story.

The lack of obvious direct relevance is different from reporting the genuinely irrelevant, such as coverage in the US of the UK royals. The US election is an important story which affects many people and should interest even those who are themselves personally unaffected. In addition of course the US is a large democracy and the functioning of other democratic states is of interest. Slightly oddly, your largely hootless attitude to other countries’ goings on and apparent disconnection from your political process is a major concern of other countries: when the US turns inward it is usually a sign of trouble to come.

There was an article about how Europeans overwhelmingly favor Gore today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Here’s the link if anyone’s interested.

Hmm I wonder exactly how accurate that poll is:)

Though probably the main reason is the stock market. It will proabably plummet if Bush or Gore gets elected.:slight_smile:

I’m in the UK, and we were discussing the election in our politics class ( the sole reason being that it might come up in our university interviews). The majority did favour Gore as a better candidate, but also felt that Bush would win, from the opinion polls despite the fact they thought he was as thick as pig shit. The main interest in the election was the global economic impact as stated by other posters.
Anyway I’ll end on a great quote from Rory Bremner (British political satirist and impressionist)
" If God had wanted them to have an election, He’d of given them a candidate"


There ain’t much we Euro’s can do but sit and watch.

US presidential campaigns from the selection of candidates to the actual election date seem interminably long to us where 6week campaigns are the norm.
The view that most of our commentators take is that the run up to the primaries and the rest of the process is so long that it effectively only gives a succesful candidate 2years to concentrate fully on presidential duties, perhaps even less, and then the ball starts rolling again.

My personal view of Bush is that although the Republicans may have more capable candidates his name is well known because of his background - he picked the right parents.
I’m not sure I would select my leader on that basis but at least you have the choice unlike the UK.

What happens is of vital importance to the rest of the world but we became turned off by the process 18 months ago.


Less than 40% of Americans actually vote. The presence of the electoral college irritates most of us because no matter who we select by a majority vote, if the college does not agree, the looser will get the position. Majority is by 1 vote more than the other. In the past, the college has selected the candidate who did not win and gave him the presidency.

I, among others, want more than a two party system, finding that the Democrats and the Republicans seem equally self serving and basically corrupt. Plus, many of us are discouraged with the president coming from a pool of people who are independently wealthy, very well politically connected and who have little actual common man experiences. JFK was pushed into the presidency by his powerful father, LBJ was for the businessman, Nixon was in it for power, Carter and Ford were pretty good, but not all that effective. Reagan seemed more concerned with special interests. Bush was pretty good but not that interested in the average person. Clinton, well he got the line item veto, which many of us felt was great, but then let Congress take some of the power out of it. He did send in troops in Desert Storm, but he allowed politics to stop them from finishing the job. I don’t care about his scandal and in fact, many of us got an appalling view of how Congress dropped the nations concerns to find ways to shaft him. Nothing like dragging a president to court when he is trying to fight a war without getting too many of our people killed. Many of us still feel that the Republican congress engineered the whole embarrassing thing to discredit Clinton because he was stepping on them hard.

Lots of us feel that our votes do not count because the candidates are going to do what they want when they get into office anyhow and those third party candidates who might do good are not allowed in a presidential election. Mostly, we have watched major benefits go to the top 5% of the population who control 90% of the money.

We came up with a budget surplus, thanks to Clinton, and we have failing social programs, failing Social Security, failing medical programs and our leaders started squabbling over giving the money to major corporations and projects already flush with cash. They’ve squabbled for years about giving some to Social Security and very little has trickled down into other social programs.

We have hospitals shutting down for lack of funds and all that extra cash there is still being squabbled over.

We’re not happy with most of our politicians but what we have to choose from is not all that better.

Me? I want a reasonably honest President: white, black, male, female; I don’t care but they have to be of the people, for the people and by the people and not special interest groups, big business, paying back political agendas for favorites, or dumping millions into programs that are not vital while ignoring those that are.

The site of People Against Government Waste noted Glacier National Park getting several million to put in a bike path and a 1 million dollar outhouse up in the boonies, while clinics for the poor were shutting down from lack of funds and the free food program was cutting back on hand outs.

Then the panic mentality passed laws in congress about children’s rights in such haste to look good, that they actually have taken rights away from parents, teachers and made every adult easy to be accused of molestation by any pissed off kid. Those laws have not been fixed.

Probably voting might go up if they allow mail-ins in general or Internet voting, where a person can take more than 5 minutes to decide. (Yes, I know, they’ve had months.)

We have a lot of factors to take our politicians to task over but they don’t listen to us much anymore.

While it’s a bit late, can I ask you a favour?

Can you please not use the mute button, but gather whatever information you consider necessary to become informed (and after 2 years it must drive you bonkers), take the time to vote and make the right, or at least the best, choice.

As picmr noted “when the US turns inward it is usually a sign of trouble to come.”

I’ve got a vested interest but I think the rest of the world deserves more than to be just collateral damage to American apathy.

Can’t let this stand unchallenged. Clinton was not elected until '92. Desert Shield/Desert Storm was Papa Bush’s baby, not Bill’s. Clinton has kept us in the area, patrolling the No-fly zones since he took over the office though.

One of the things i am still wondering about is just exactly what Bush would have to do to make himself unelectable. I mean, he dodged the draft, took drugs, got caught for DUI, lied about it whilst promising to bring integrity back to the white house - all of which i understood were guaranteed to get voters to loathe your guts. Plus he’s clearly a moron, called a journo an asshole on live TV, his budget is utterly baseless and the tax rebate he is promising will apprently go to less than 1% of the electorate.

The major argument against Gore seems to be that he doesn’t have a personality, and i’ve even heard his attention to detail on policy used against him.

So what would bush have to do? Bugger a goat in front of the world’s assembled media?

I couldn’t comment on this a couple of days ago but this morning as I’m driving to work listening to NPR…I heard that last night in Asia, Europe could perhaps fall into a similar category, when the election appeared to be going Gore’s way US treasury bonds went up quite a bit. But by this morning they had gone back down again. Why I’m not sure because all that economic stuff is very complicated to me and I have no idea about the differences between Gore’s policies in Asia or if Bush even has an Asian policy. Does anyone know about this?


This might well be because Bush and his party are percieved to be more likely to put up trade barriers to the rest of the world on grounds that are currently cause for heated debate amongst G7 and G9 countries.

It is thought that this would provoke a fragmentation of world markets resulting in 3 main trading blocs, Europe & near East, Japan NZ Australia and the East Asian economies and finally the Americas.
Africa and the relatively recent developing markets of the former USSR would be up for grabs but Europeans have quite an advantage in these zones.

One scenario being seriously considered is that these trading blocs would put up barriers to each others products so that these markets were near inaccesible to each other.
This is reckoned to be a real possibility and the consequencies to developing nations caught in the trade tariff crossfire would be disastrous.

One can argue the merits of fairness in trading till the cows come home but the money men see it as a seriously negative thing should even a small part of the previous scenario come to pass.
By putting up trade barriers the US would be likely cutting its collective nose off just to spite its face.

Bush and the Republicans are said to favour doing ‘something’ about ‘unfair trading’.


Exactly backwards. The democrats are much more in favor of protectionism that the republicans, Clinton got NAFTA passed over the objections of his own party and with the virtually unanimous support of the republicans.

While I agree that there are lots of right-wing protectionists out there (Perot, Buchanan) they have no representation in the republican party. Both parties have more support for protectionism from the rank and file than they do from the elected officials, but the republicans have fewer of both.

I stand corrected.

So now I have absolutely no idea why US bond values have fallen.

I’m less ignorant of one thing, but just as mystified over another.

Correct. It was Bush not Clinton. (I don’t know what I was thinking.)

The current mess in Florida is a pretty good example why so many people don’t vote.

Still, I mean with all of the grief the US gets from other nations, why should they be interested in our elections? Maybe France and China, who, like the US are members of the UN, who oppose the sanctions against Iraq and are openly defying them by trading with Sadaam. Clinton probably will not do anything about it, but someone with more spine might see it as a violation of UN laws, and undermining of UN authority and start slapping restrictions on them.

I mean, when you join an organization, you agree to follow the majority, but the nations of the UN seem to feel that if they disagree, they can do what they want. There is no powerful ‘Sergeant At Arms’ to keep them in line.

I read a thread some time back where a poster asked what would happen if American vanished or just cut off all international contact and was basically told by international posters that the world would happily poke along without the Yanks. America was/is no big deal.

So, why get concerned over the elections and why is the international stock market starting to fluctuate during them?

I mean, I don’t care who gets in power in France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Japan or most other nations. I do care what happens in the communist ones, especially Russia and China, but only because of their situations. Both are in a position to benefit from any major war. China by draining off surplus population and Russia by establishing a war government as well as disposing of excess people.

Are people concerned that someone might get into power who will start cutting off US billions in loans and aid? Maybe someone who will call a spade a spade and knock off months of political diplomatic mincing of words and just say ‘get the frig outta there or we’ll kick your friggin arses’? Perhaps someone who will stop the practice of major American corporations from going into restricted countries, like Cuba, and striking business deals. Maybe someone who will stop the ‘California Valley Girl’ tourist who just has to sneak into Cuba through nefarious, but legal, ways on vacation. (Cuba is making a fortune off of wealthy Americans who have been vacationing there ever since travel restrictions were imposed.) Or just have to go tour Egypt while the two factions are shooting at each other, run over to Russia and adopt a kid, slip into China for some authentic antiques, illegal furs, potions made from the bodies of endangered animals, then to Iran for a bit of a view of a real battle field and sail leisurely back, avoiding customs, on private sailboats or aircraft?

What is the major interest, aside from poking fun at the US?

The US is the biggest kid on the block, as such everybody is interested when he gets new toys.
Who would care if Norway or Tuvalu got the equivalent of a new coloring book and crayons.

Oh, and by the way, If the US is so principled and interested in enforcing interantional law thruogh the UN then why does it owe that organisation so much money and why is it always so late in repayment ?

The US has interfered in the internal affairs of many nations whom most US citizens would not call enemies, in many differant ways from kidnapping and putting their leaders on trial to threatening trade sanctions simply because they do not want nuclear armed US warships in their territorial waters.

By not carng who gets into power in such major nations as France, Russia, China etcetera you are fulfilling all the stereotypes that other citizens of the world have about US citizens and personally I think that ignorance of world affairs is not much to shout about.
If you have no idea of what is going on in the rest of the world then how can you be so sure that international action risking the lives of US troops is justified ? Surely you don’t trust you politicians that much.

You wouldn’t be cynical enough to think that US police actions actually benefit the US by extending its power base overseas now would you ?
If Kuwait had been world famous for growing cabbages rather that for its oil I wonder if operation Desert Storm would have happened, lets face it the West helped put Saddam Hussain in power and then maintained him by providing weapons and military advice.

Do not take this as a criticism of the US, it does what it has to do just as other nations do.Being King of the Hill means that someone is always trying to bring you down, that’s the price to be paid.

“Do US elections actually affect Europe?” Yes. Currently they provide great entertainment value.

Yeah, right …

… like the US never exercises a veto over UN resolutions.
… like the US pays it’s dues in full and on time.
… like the US accepts UN rulings contrary to US interests

Wouldn’t the world be just dandy if everybody just acted at the behest of American self interess with a tug of the forelock and a deferential “yes Sir, no Sir, three bags full Sir”; if third world countries didn’t have these damm uppity notions of improving their situation, if the US trade policy wasn’t designed shore up votes in the mid-west corn belt.

And, Reboot42, I presume your “Sergeant At Arms” is an American, [salary paid by Big Oil] with their finger on the nuke button to bomb the crap out of any country that has the audacity to express a divergent opinion. All done from the safety of 30,000 feet, unless the locals are armed with spears and rocks, then an invasion will be contemplated, provided CNN can transmit the pictures back for prime time viewing.

If 50% of American’s can’t be bothered having a say in their own affairs, what authority do you have to meddle in the affairs of others? Commercial interests, undoubtably. Just don’t confuse that with a moral authority.

(Wow, what a rant … oh dear, how sad, never mind. I think I’ll open a bottle of good Aussie red, say Rockfords Basket Press Shiraz 1988 and chill out for a while … hey is that a B52 coming this way? ;))

Perhaps it’s an example of why more people should vote.

The theory that China and Russia are spoiling for a war so that they can thin out their population is interesting, if not very sane or rational, but did you know that Russia isn’t Communist anymore? It only happened about ten years ago, so it might have passed you by.