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“The U.S. elections do matter”
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“The U.S. elections do matter”

In today’s interconnected world there’s no room for indifference to events like the recent U.S. Presidential election, says Denise Juvane, 20, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Mozambique now living in England. Election results will have an impact on the powerful U.S. as well as on countries directly and indirectly connected to it.

“U.S. elections don’t affect my day to day life, why should I care?” I came across this statement more than enough times before and since Barack Obama’s election to a second term as President of the United States.

Usually I stopped myself from responding, either because I was too tired, or because I knew it would be the beginning of a long debate with someone who does not see the international relevance of the U.S. elections.

What bothers me most is not the fact that some people are indifferent to elections other than the ones going on in their home country. My biggest problem is their unwillingness to see that we live in a world and a society where we are all interdependent. What goes on in one country will undoubtedly have a knock on effect elsewhere. It’s all a bit like a row of dominoes, where when one falls the continuous effect knocks down others elsewhere.

In essence I am saying yes, the U.S. elections do matter, whether you are in the U.S. or not. The undeniable fact is the U.S. is a Western hegemony, and anything that distorts the way in which it is run has an effect not only on the U.S. but also in all states direct or indirectly linked to it. Those countries with economic links are especially vulnerable to the impact of U.S. decisions on foreign and domestic affairs.

If we look at the bigger picture of the United States and its international role, we can see its importance when it comes to the current economic crisis. The global crisis is a problem that started in the States and trickled down to European countries, where it had a massive negative impact on their economic structure and trade system. Isn’t it therefore futile to say that the U.S. elections do not matter to anyone else?

I can understand the view that the U.S. Presidential election and its result changes nothing on the smaller scale of day-to-day life, but we must remember that no man is an island. We cannot do everything using our own resources when we are aware that today’s world is so intertwined economically and in other ways that it almost seems foreign relations are the primary means by which a country stands.

The fact is that we as human beings must be more aware of what goes on around us, and as individuals must quit believing that what happens beyond our borders does not concern us. 

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

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About me:

I am a second year International Relations Student at the University of Surrey in England. I am very much interested in international developments and the desire to help tackle poverty and inequality. 

Currently I am a Vice President at the Politics Society of my university as well as a News Writer to the local University Newspaper ‘The Stag’.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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