By Anthony Mitchell
Published October 25, 2004
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia --
Satellites and telephone wires bring the battle for the White House to
an Internet cafe 7,200 miles away in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia,
where Girma Hagos goes for his daily dose of U.S. election news.
"What happens in America
affects us all," the 66-year-old leather exporter said as he sat at a
computer. He backs Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry, saying, "I
think he will show more interest in Africa."
Through the Internet and
satellite television, the world can watch as never before and even
register a preference on Web sites such as
http://worldpeace.org.au/virtualelection.asp, offering a "U.S.
Election for the Rest of the World."
"Let's help the U.S. figure out
who their president should be. Lord knows they spend a lot of time
'helping' other countries with theirs," says the site.
Mr. Kerry led with 44 percent
of the more than 10,000 votes cast on the Australia-based site as of
Oct. 19, while President Bush had just over 5 percent. Independent Ralph
Nader, who in American polls scores in the low single digits, had 39
percent of the Internet vote.
Non-Americans can also lobby
Americans living abroad to vote by absentee ballot via
www.tellanamericantovote.com. Other campaigners (www.boycottbush.org)
are calling for a boycott of companies that fund the Republican Party
and for alternative "U.S. Presidential Elections for Another World" on
The makeshift elections are
planned in Brussels and Ghent in Belgium, London, Barcelona and Ibiza in
Spain, Budapest in Hungary, and in Brazil, said Pol D'Huyvetter, a
In Germany, the Web site of the Munich-based
newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung allows readers to test whether they are
"Bush or Kerry types," while the Tagesspiegel daily invites them to an
online election game.