Monday, April 4, 2011

SandTurtle -- Expats' right to vote

The speed at which Sandmonkey makes his leaps intimidates me… Not because he’s so young and politically active. But because, like many post-revo activists.. he’s too quick to create blueprints and the leader-hungry Egyptians are fast to follow in total devotion. That’s what I call counter-revolutionary! When we start following a herd mentality and stop thinking for ourselves.

Maybe I should branch out of my blog and give my political doppelganger the name Sandturtle.. for I, for one, sure take my time to digest what is going on the Egyptian political landscape. And I like to stop and graze at every little minute detail till I fully appreciate it.. No wonder I’m miles behind on his tracks!

So we didn’t vote in the referendum.. when I did the math (can’t even recall how I did it), I figured my NO vote wouldn’t have tilted the balance in my favor even if it was loaded with 8 million expatriate NOs. Mainly because we have already made a few wrong leaps: 1- all expats would have voted.. 2- they would have unanimously voted NO.. 3-their new found Egyptomania is really founded on what’s best for Egypt not for their personal interests as dual nationals and Egypt’s foreign policy.
But that’s a different issue… for a future blog post!

We were simply defeated in the first round, but who’s counting? we went down face first but we’re up again , before the guy with the whistle counted to ten and raised the MB’s hand in victory. I know I’m up again and I’m more focused and steady on my ground.

Too bad I’m standing on the wrong side of the ocean.. and unless I take the plunge and fly to Cairo every time the Military Council holds an election, I’m afraid I have no chance of getting even the tip of my toes wet..

But I don’t just want to wiggle my toes in the wet political sands. I don’t want to sit and gaze at the shifting tides of Egypt.. I want to get soaked in its politics and I want to feel the waves of campaigns, grassroots movements, political education efforts and galvanizing forces leading to our first ever presidential elections!
I want to be part of it without having to drop 3 kids and fly 12 hours to go cast a vote. I want to put my long years of communication work to spread voter awareness and mobilize expat voices here in New York.

How hard can it be?..

Last I checked, we were over 300 thousand Egyptians registered in the Egyptian Consulate here.. I have to update the numbers.. And if we started here.. it will go viral.. do I dare ask how many we are across the US?

Just imagine,,, running an elections-campaign for the first Egyptian president.. But here in New York, for New York based voters. And another for Chicago voters.. How about LA voters, any takers? And we won’t have to either be Red or Blue? We’ll have a real democracy with real choices and too many hues to choose from.

Obama said it.. he wants American youth to learn from our example. Wouldn’t be fun to teach American youth how to build a truly functional democracy on their own turf?
Now that’s an idea… if only we expats could vote…