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Le Devoir, Canada

Election Night: Hope
and Anxiety for
American Expats


By Amélie Daoust-Boisvert

Translated By Alison Rane

7 November 2012

Edited by Lau­ren Gerken


Canada - Le Devoir - Original Article (French)

It was still "too close to call." Hanging on the words of the CNN anchors, American students at McGill University followed the election night at a bar on Crescent Street block and warmed as each state turned blue for the Democrats.

When Wisconsin and then New Hampshire were predicted to turn Democratic blue, the room heaved a collective sigh. But the game was far from over for the Democrats exiled in Montreal. A Democrat would be elected senator in Ohio.

Could the results from this key state predict the election? They would like to think so.

Ohio, Florida ... The results were close in these swing states at the time of going to press. Each televised count was welcomed by faces alternating between anxiety and hope.

Ally Filler was 17-years-old in 2008. The New Yorker voted for the first time this year, but [did so with] an absentee ballot, as her studies required. Tuesday night, while the excitement was at its height, she hoped that her ballot had arrived at its destination; Hurricane Sandy had disrupted mail delivery.

"Nobody here wants to think that Romney could win," said the linguistics student while the initial results were scattered on the screen. The atmosphere is less highly charged than four years ago, when the excitement was at its peak before the election of the first black president. "The expectations were too high for Obama," said Ally Filler, "but I honestly think he did his best."*

A couple of Quebecois who were in Boston on the night of Obama's election in 2008 wanted to be immersed in the election night once again. "The feeling is very different this year. In 2008, we made history," they said.

The Republicans were discrete in Montreal: No official gathering was organized. Kelli Wight, of Republicans Abroad Canada, organized an election night in Toronto. "There is no critical mass for this kind of event in Montreal," she says. "People organize election parties at home instead."*

Dozens of American politics fans were meeting at Coeur des Sciences de l'UQAM.* [Editor’s note: educational events organized by the University of Quebec, Montreal] "The campaign was long, hard and moving," said Andrew Parker, the U.S. Consul General in Montreal, who had accepted the invitation of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair's Observatory on the U.S.

*Editor’s note: The original quotations, while accurately translated, could not be verified in English.



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