Following American Election Campaigns From Nepal

Even in these chilly days, we drink Coca Cola (Okay, to be exact, I drank a glass of Fanta, another offering from the one of the greatest symbols of American culture, this afternoon in a program co-sponsored by Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu). We get to watch the events in the United States as and when they unfold, mostly live, as it happened a while ago with the fire in the west wing of the White House. Now they are talking about the election campaign-the topic of this blog- on CNN, an American network, as I am typing these lines on MS Word, one of the key products of an American software giant. Nine out of 13 tabs on the Firefox, competitor of Microsoft’s IE but still an American thing (Internet itself is an American thing, isn’t it?), display American websites. A paper lies on the floor on my left side that’s known around the world as the New York Times (these particular pages come as a weekly pullout along with an Indian paper called Asian Age).

America, America everywhere, not a blog to post? How can that be? That’s why I have decided to create a separate category on UWB to write about my feelings and perspectives on American Democracy. Whenever I am free and browsing web, I spent majority of the time with sites that are talking about the presidential election campaigns. Oh… I have spent countless tea session in a small teashop near my office with Deepak Adhikari, a reporter colleague of mine at Kantipur Publications, talking about American politics (yes the rise of Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney’s speech on religion, my fascination with Barrack Obama and sympathy for Hillary Clinton and much more). Talks about politics have become more frequent in the past several days as the primaries in the US and Deepak’s travel to the States are nearing. Well, he will go to the States as a fellow to work at Pittsburgh Post Gazette for six months only in March but till then he wants to gain as much knowledge about the US as possible.

“I am a pro-American,” I flatly told a Maoist girl a few days ago when I met her in Kathmandu. (Princess of the Party- a nickname she hates so much that I don’t think she will ever speak to me after reading this!) “I like everything about America,” I remember telling her which, in fact, is not entirely true. There are a many things that I don’t like about America: the fact that I couldn’t see Himalayas from the University of Southern California is one of them!!! The Princess was quick enough to dismiss by praise of America (“Why do you think Bush didn’t give enough attention to the plight of the blacks during the Hurricane Katrina?”)

Anyway, I am talking about this new blog post about the American election campaign. What could I do, it seems I will not have any opportunity to blog about elections campaigns in Nepal. That would be the loveliest thing for me to do: to write about our own democratic exercise. But leaders here are such a bunch of fools that they don’t seem to be interested in electoral politics, at least not in work. But when it comes to talking about elections, no leader in the world can match them. I do hope the day will come when we will be talking about our own election campaigns and analyzing about the voting patterns instead of following the American elections via news, blogs and TVs.

My primary sources for the campaign news are the web sites of American newspapers like New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times and various blogs at those newspaper sites and other independent blogs and web sites. I also watch CNN when I am at home which helps me to get right pronunciation. For instance, I recently learned that Des Moines is De Moin, not Desh Moinesh! Just a quick note, the web site of Des Moines Register is horrible compared to those put of by the NY Times or the Washington Post. I will continue writing about likes and dislikes and so on in these posts in coming days because, as I have mentioned above, the sole purpose of this blog category is the same. [List of the web sites that I will be visiting to follow the campaign will be posted in next blog.]

Tired of reading about foreign interference in Nepali politics? Watch out: I will be interfering in the American politics!

[Parts of this blog were written on Wednesday, 19 December. This blog was originally posted at UWB My blogs on American Politics will be posted on UWB under American Elections category.]