Monday, June 16, 2008

The world is pro-US?

Ok, here's another political post; hopefully last for a while; still lots of random wedding/honeymoon thoughts and photos to come. But odd observation that I haven't seen noted elsewhere. Despite the record low approval ratings for the US around the world, it seems odd that in every recent election (with only one prominent exception **), the pro-US candidate has won.

From Gordon Brown in the UK, Sarkozy in Francy, Merkel in Germany, Berlusconi in Italy. Similar outcomes in South Korea and Taiwan.

Not sure how to explain this. Thoughts?

** The one exception is Spain, and that was only because a terrorist set off a bomb right before election day.


hcduvall said...

I think coincidence is the biggest factor, actually. I don't know how it was in Germany, but "pro-US" wasn't a terribly strong part of any of their platforms, except for France. In most cases the opposition was so shambolic--Brown follows a formerly popular prime minister whose legacy is directly tarnished because of too-close association with Bush, and is tempered by comparison, but the Tory's had nobody. Royal in France was every imagined stereotype of Socialist pander in the book. Taiwan and Italy all went through crappifyingly incompetent "not pro-US" (not necessarily con-US coalitions. Taiwan specifically was caught in corruption scandals, and if 100k come out over beef in SK, I dunno if that gov't will necessarily get reelected with this stance. Which is to say, country's vote on foreign policy if you look competent to handle domestic issues first, and it happens that outside of Spain, the groups that got in couldn't handle that part. Competence first.

That said, I think the conduct has changed on both sides. The US foreign policy has shifted in how it conducts itself, and is more approachable, humbled a bit, frankly--the "opposition" too if you will, since they didn't exactly stop American policy either. The obviously compromised influence of this Bush administration--not quite lame duck, but nearly so, has something to do so as well. They are more conciliatory and so is everyone else.

HoBs said...

yeah, could just be coincidence. but clearly anti-US sentiment has not majorly hurt any pro-US candidate.

That's an impressivley detailed analysis of international politics. Didn't realize you were also such a news junky for these things.

I thikn the only reason i'm at all aware is this old habit of reading hte economist all the way through that I no longer have the time to justify, but feel compelled to out of habit.