At some point someone will put up the worldwide numbers about who and how many people followed and watched the US election night results. I suspect the numbers will be unprecedented. What I do know is that on election night, Canadians were more than slightly interested in the outcome.
Almost everyone I know was either watching TV coverage or following the election results online. My son without a TV went to a neighborhood pub and watched in a party-like atmosphere and when the results came in, everyone cheered, clapped and stomped; here, at home, I watched with my husband; my younger son followed on the internet between working on a research paper; people at the NHL hockey game in town listened with earphones on their radios and when the results were shown on the Jumbotron over centre ice - the hockey fans stood and cheered. We watched John McCain concede defeat in a most gracious and conciliatory speech and we watched Barack Obama deliver an inspiring and hope-filled speech for Americans - a speech that touched and was just as meaningful to those of us outside the US. Later, both of my sons told me they had never heard anything as awe-inspiring and powerful in their lives. I haven't heard anything like it since JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King Jr.
It's only been two days after the US election and the euphoria is starting to wear off. Now, the real work starts.
I hope the people who cried and cheered during Obama's speech stop and ponder the content of his words and what he was asking of the American people. I hope they take on board the ideals he expressed. I hope they're patient with him and with each other. I hope there will be a change for the better because, like it or not, as the US goes, so goes much of the world.
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