October 30, 2008


US election watch: The case for McCain: As Americans everywhere prepare to go to the polls, Swedish politician Mathias Sundin - who spent a month this summer working as a volunteer for John McCain - explains why he’s rooting for the Republican candidate. (Mathias Sundin, 10/30/08, The Local)

For me as a Swede, the issues which affect Sweden and the rest of the world mean the most to me: free trade, foreign policy, and economic policy. And of course who the candidates are as people is also important.

Free trade has made it possible for hundreds of millions of people to lift themselves out of poverty, and has also benefited western economies like Sweden and the United States. Obviously, it involves increased competition which can result in some people losing their jobs. But if you have a dynamic economy, like America has had for many years, people eventually get new jobs.

Sweden is a small, export dependent country. The world’s largest economies need to continue to support free trade, both for Sweden’s sake and for the sake of the world’s poor. McCain has long been a diehard supporter of free trade, while Barack Obama’s rhetoric, unfortunately, has been strongly against free trade.

McCain also has an idea he calls the “League of Democracies”. It would be a forum for cooperation among the world’s democracies. It could, for example, take action on occasions when the UN isn’t working or can’t fulfill its mission of halting genocides.

The UN’s agenda is often hindered by dictators. The world’s democracies are by no means all saints either, but they do have public opinion to consider and in general democracies act morally more often than dictators.

As a Swede, I think that it’s important that the US not leave Iraq too soon. This is a unique opportunity to build the world’s first democratic Arab country. Withdrawing troops to quickly would put this endeavor at risk. I understand that Americans are tired of the war, but both the United States and the world at large would benefit from a democratic Iraq.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 30, 2008 2:26 PM
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