The World is Watching

Erik talks with Elisa Jones who is visiting the U.S. from Wales.
Erik talks with Elisa Jones who is visiting the U.S. from Wales.

Erik talks with Elisa Jones who is visiting the U.S. from Wales.

While covering the presidential election in the United States, I have heard first-hand from voters how upset they are about the many insults being hurled by the candidates and their supporters. According to recent polls, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are viewed unfavorably by roughly 60 percent of voters in the United States. That made me wonder how the rest of the world sees this election.

Myra Garces-Bacsal is a Filipino who lives in Singapore. She regards the current U.S. election as “particularly divisive.” Looking at her American friends’ Facebook feeds has led her to think that the election is “adversely affecting longtime friendships” because of people’s differing views.

According to Garces-Bacsal, the Philippines recently had a nasty election. Candidates were “pitting people against each other,” she observes.



Catherine Johnson of Ontario, Canada, says that news outlets there are covering the U.S. election heavily. “It must be very difficult to make an intelligent choice when one only hears bad things about the candidates,” Johnson says. All of the mud-slinging, she adds, seems to be drowning out what the candidates’ actual policies are.

D. Tulloch of New Zealand echoes those sentiments. “Each candidate should be showing what they are going to [do] in the coming years,” Tulloch says. She believes that the candidates “need to know the world is watching” and “need to win by the policies they put forth.”

Tulloch adds that politicians in New Zealand do not resort to personal attacks. “Policies are uppermost in our decisions of choosing a party or person we vote for. Not whether we like them or not.”

Elisa Jones is visiting Pennsylvania from Wales. She says that the tone of the U.S. election is similar to the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom earlier this year. Brexit is the informal term for the U.K.’s planned withdrawal from the European Union following a referendum last June. “There were lots of lies and mistruths told by both sides,” Jones recalls.

What advice does Jones have for American voters? “Even though people are disheartened, they should still vote,” she says. “With Brexit, a lot of people who didn’t vote are kicking themselves now.” 

Photo courtesy of the author