Monday, November 01, 2004

# Posted 7:20 PM by Patrick Belton  

OXBLOG ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: I have the election-day featured article in The Hill tomorrow, and it's up online this evening. I'd say go read it, but there's always the chance it's not very good, so (1) go read Voltaire, as something infinitely more worth reading; and (2) if you perversely insist on not doing (1), you can read this instead. Conversely, as I'll be doing a second piece on the same theme as postmortem afterwards, I'd be very grateful for any thoughts or suggestions our readers might like to offer.

My first two paragraphs, which basically introduce the gist of the piece, are these:
In the first American election fought on foreign policy since the Cold War, world capitals have been scrambling to assess how the foreign policies of a John Kerry and a second George W. Bush administration might be expected to diverge toward them and their interests. And in an election where the Democrat's principal claim to office has been his promise to restore the decent opinions of mankind to the nation, and the Republican's has been his willingness to do right (in democracy and counterterror) even when unpopular abroad, one of the principal ironies has been that a surprising number of foreign capitals actually want Bush to win.

In some instances, such as India and Pakistan, this is because of working relationships they have already brought up to speed with Bush and his advisors; others, such as China and Japan, worry about Kerry's vulnerability to domestic lobbies which Bush could ignore either from strength (congressional Republicans, Taiwan supporters) or neglect (labor). Africa prefers Bush because he as a Republican evangelical could push foreign aid through Congress, a miracle they believe beyond the intercessive powers of the Catholic Democrat. While public opinion supports the Democrat in most countries other than Russia and Israel, governments weigh different concerns, such as the value of established understandings and relationships with the current administration, and the susceptibility of each candidate to different forms of domestic pressure.
In general, most autocrats tend to support Bush, though Arab autocrats are backing Kerry.

Many thanks to everyone who helped me with this piece, and please do let me know your responses!

UPDATE: Looks as though election day traffic has driven the site off line, at least temporarily. There's a mirror copy of my piece on my website o' clips, though.
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