Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for October 6th, 2008

LIBG Forum on the US Elections

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 6th October, 2008

A dismayingly large percentage of the British electorate has shown little inclination to turn out in recent elections, but I suspect that several millions would just love to have a vote in the US presidential election next month. There is a rational case to make that the result of that contest will have more of an impact on our lives than many of the votes we are able to take part in. So it was maybe not surprising that the Forum on the US elections Liberal International British Group (LIBG) put on at the National Liberal Club tonight attracted a capicty audience; in fact, there were even people standing at the back.

We had a great line-up of speakers: Bill Barnard, Chairman of Democrats Abroad, (Lord) Chris Rennard, Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats (who gave a most entertaining account of gate-crashing events at the recent Denver Democrat Convention) and Nick Childs, former Washington correspondent and now political correspondent of the BBC Wotld Service. There is little doubt that if Brits — indeed, almost any other nationality — could vote, Barack Obama would win by a landslide. But we can’t. And the Sarah Palin phenomenon, which leaves most Europeans open-mouthed with disbelief, taps into a certain genuine American small-town conservative religious vein. The contest is far from over. I suspect that far more Brits will be sitting up to watch the results on US election night next month than at any other previous US presidential contest.


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