A quick view on presidents

5 11 2008

Yesterday I filled in my Ghanaian visa renewal application which asked (among other questions):

“How long have you been president in Ghana?”.

I hope it was a misprint, but it seemed appropriate given the elections here and in the US. I admitted to having been president for 1 year, but only in secret.

I’ll admit I’m delighted by the US results, I try to remain unbiased but the idea of a 72 year old with a history of cancer as president with Palin as vice president frankly scared me. Hopefully the new president will reverse some of the restrictions on aid that have hindered the effectiveness of the fight against AIDS and other issues. I am a bit wary though of building up too greater expectations on any single human being, after all the US constitution deliberately and explicitly prevent any one arm of the government from hold too much power, and after the disappointments of Clinton and Blair I’m less willing to be estatic about any “new politics”, “force for change”. They’re all constrained by what is politically possible.

The elections drag on here with a very good level of debate at all levels and lots of rallies etc. It makes me a little embarressed by the apathy that UK elections are met with. IT seems fairly close and I refuse to speculate or express a preference for the candidates. From what I can see they would all serve Ghana to the best of their abilities and be shackled by the huge restraints placed on a developing country by the international community.




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