Sunday, 3 February 2008

From Belgrade to Super Tuesday- elections that both can effect us.

As a bit of a political and election spotter, I take an interest in news on any election from a Parish Council seat in Suffolk to the big American "Super Tuesday" that takes place this week.

The US election always makes big news over here but probably even more so this year with the democrats likelyto elect either their first woman or first black American candiadte for the Presidential election. It would be nice if actualy some of our broadsheet papers put as much effort into promoting UK elections as they are the race for the White House- the Independent this week giving away a free US election guide and a large glossy map.

Of course the US election is important to us here- they are electing a person who will become the most powerful man in the world and some of his first decisions will effect our own foreign policy. A democrat win will almost certainly see a dramatic change in US policy in Iraq and possibly Afganistan. As an ex soldier , this interests me as I am sure a sudden US pullout from either theatre will mean that Godon Brown would have to follow suit- more so in Iraq.

But it is not just the US election that will effect us, recent German elections have been used by commentators in the UK to look for similarites and pointers towards our own future elections. But it is an election slightly further east than Germany that may cause more headaches for those who direct our foriegn policy. Today we see voting in Serbia in their presedntial elections, and the success of Serb nationalist politicians will see them more closely link themselves to Russia and will have a major effect on possible indepenence for Kosova. It could lead for more troops to be sent to the Balkans. Overstretch is a big concern for the Armed Forces at present and they are only able to pursue successful campaigns in Iraq and Afganistan due to troop reductions in Kosova and Bosnia. A hightening of tensions in the Balkans will need Gordon Beown to make sure that it is our European allies who take the brunt of an increase in troop numbers. Those NATO counties who have failed to send troops to support the mission to bring stability to Afganistan should be lent on to make sure they are at the fore of any troop increase in the Balkans.

So the election results from Belgrade today have as much interest to me as the "Super Tuesday" results will have later in the week.

1 comment:

a very public sociologist said...

Well, the slightly more liberal candidate won in Serbia, which I suppose is a bit of a plus when it comes to not enflaming tensions.

And the primaries still have the contest on a knife edge. I think Obama could just do it though policy wise I think there's little between him and Clinton ... and McCain for that matter.