24 February 2008

Lots of people voted this past week.

Wisconsin Primary results
Obama 646,007
Clinton 452,795
Others 12,483
Total 465,278

McCain 224,226
Huckabee 151,201
Others 31,832
Total 407,259

Whats interesting is that the combined total for McCain and Huckabee is less than Clinton alone got. While the Republicans had only about 58 thousand less people, they had more people voting for someone other than the top two candidates. This has been a running trend, when both parties have their primaries on the same day the Democrats have a larger turnout than the Republicans. There could be many reasons for this. Maybe the Democratic race is inspiring more people to come out, but the Republican race is just as tight. I think its pretty clear that the middle of the political spectrum is not happy with the way the country has been run for the past seven years. And the result is more people showing up for the primaries in general and the Democratic primaries in specific.

But this was hardly the most exciting election that took place in the past week. Pakistan had an election and Musharraf's ruling party was soundly defeated. I can't find a reference right now, but I saw in the paper that the party received about 15% of the vote. Whats amazing to me is that the party has admitted defeat. But as I told my mother the other day, I'll really believe democracy has come to when someone else comes to power. Thats not to downplay what has finally happened in Pakistan, but rather to say that I don't trust Musharraf to not act like so many dictators that have come before and make some bid to hold on to power. I am cautiously optimistic about the democracy in Pakistan.

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