I always feel so excited when it's election day. Today is the day Virginians make their choice for the new governor. I have a chance to exercise my hard-earned right to vote and know that my vote counts. Election in Vietnam before I left at age 22 was a joke! It still is now. No one voted voluntarily because we knew it was all staged. Results were already determined before election. We had no say. Besides, there's only 1 party; what do you vote for? Communist party vs. Communist party? At the end, the most corrupted guy will stay. Open our mouths and we go to jail. Intellectuals who made plays, songs or voice their opposition mysteriously got run over in the most "accidental" accidents and this is still happening over there.
The picture below is very famous in the Vietnamese community in the US. April 2007, father Nguyen Van Ly was sentenced 8 years for "spreading propaganda to oppose the socialist government of Vietnam." According to BBC father Ly (we use first name formally in Vietnam) has been in prison for 14 years in the last 24 years for pursuing democracy and religious freedom for Vietnam. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/vietnamese/vietnam/story/2007/03/070330_fatherly_jailed.shtml). To this day, many lawyers, reporters, writers... are in jail for telling the truth or publicly express their opposing opinion. Americans, appreciate your true FREEDOM!
the "trial" of father Nguyen Van Ly