Bernie Sanders overwhelmingly won the Global Presidential Primary, in which a group of Democrats Abroad voted from over 170 countries. He beat Hillary Clinton 69 to 31 percent; she picked up only three countries: the Dominican Republic, Singapore, and Nigeria.
As the Democrats Abroad website notes, there was “unprecedented turnout, up 50 percent from 2008…34,570 voters cast their ballots.” Countries such as South Korea went as far in favor to Sanders as 93 percent to Clinton’s 7 percent.
The voting process occurred over the first week of March. Politico reports that, “[Democrats Abroad] hosted more than 150 in-person voting events from March 1-8, beginning at midnight local time on March 1 at a bar in Wellington, New Zealand. Americans could also vote by mail, fax or email attachment.”
Only 13 delegates were up for grabs, of which Sanders garnered 9 and Clinton, 4—the net gain of 5 won’t do much to erode Clinton’s hefty 300-plus delegate lead.
However, the fact that Sanders won so decisively among American expatriates living in countries that implement many of Sanders’s core policies demonstrates exactly how myopic Americans are who claim Sanders is a “socialist,” and that ideas such as universal healthcare or free tuition for public colleges and universities are “radical.”
Sanders won countries such as Denmark by 80 percent, Germany by 72 percent, Japan by 87 percent, the Netherlands by 68 percent, Spain by 76 percent, Sweden by 71 percent, the United Kingdom by 62 percent, and Norway by 76 percent.
These are not small margins. American Democrats living in these countries voiced their opinions loud and clear: Sanders is the indisputable favorite.
These voters are individuals who have experienced firsthand what Sanders hopes to change in America—they have witnessed the value of a healthcare system that is not run by private insurance companies; they have had access to higher education without having to pay exorbitant sums; they have seen the benefits of paid parental leave and access to quality, affordable childcare.
Anu Partanen recently wrote an article for The Atlantic ("What Americans Don’t Get About Nordic Countries") which outlines just this. As an individual who moved from Finland to the U.S., she declares that, “Nordic nations offer their citizens—all of their citizens, but especially the middle class—high-quality services that save people a lot of money, time, and trouble. This is what Americans fail to understand: My taxes in Finland were used to pay for top-notch services for me.”
“From a Nordic perspective, nothing Bernie Sanders is proposing is the least bit crazy—pretty much all Nordic countries have had policies like these in place for years.”
And they work. Which is what these Americans abroad undoubtedly demonstrated in their overwhelming votes for Sanders.
“The truth is that free-market capitalism and universal social policies go well together—this isn’t about big government, it’s about smart government… what America needs right now, desperately, isn’t to keep fighting the socialist bogeymen of the past, but to see the future—at least one presidential candidate should show them that,” Partanen concludes.
At least the Democrats Abroad are looking in the right direction for that future.