Wednesday 5 November 2008

Brave new world

I've always been extremely interested in politics. I studied British politics as an A-level course for two years and US politics as a minor credit for a year at University. At one time I even thought I might like to be a politician (my family certainly thought I was argumentative enough!).

I therefore took very seriously last night's US Presidential election. I did a great deal of research yesterday lunchtime, and even formulated myself a spreadsheet to track the results. There was only one fly in the ointment... the 5 hour time difference between the UK and the East Coast (let's not even contemplate the West Coast). My solution (as to all late night events) take a nap and get back up again. So, at half past midnight I settled myself down to watch the election results roll (or as it turned out drip) in.

The last Presidential election was (fairly predictably) four years ago; and haven't things changed in that short time. Yes, of course I remember watching the BBC, and possibly occasionally flicking channels to see what was happening with other media outlets. I don't remember using the internet much though. Not so this year! At one point I managed to crash Firefox as I attempted to simultaneously follow CNN, ABC, ITV and the BBC at once. I had Twitter open twice - once to Tweet myself and once to follow the dedicated Twitter election feed. Oh yes, and I was keeping up with other night-owl friends awake on Facebook. Information overload. It gave me cause to ask myself - can one person possibly need that much information?!

In the end it was all to naught anyway, as 3am approached my body gave up and I had to go back to bed again in order to be awake and alert for work on Wednesday. Fortunately the V+ box did stay awake through the night, so I got to see the moment when Obama's Electoral College tally tipped the magic 270 votes.

So, all changed today... a Democrat in the White House for the first time in 8 years... a black President for the first time, well, ever... and an election result which appears to be happily accepted without any accusations of impropriety being levelled. Brave New World indeed.