With the people of Burma voting (or not voting) in their country’s first election in two decades its only natural that the poll is among the top global news stories today. One of the obvious handbrakes on really crisp and clear coverage is that there are very few foreign reporters in the country. And, of course, those journalists who are on-the-ground face all manner of obstacles; some have already been deported.

So it will probably take some weeks before the “local” take on the election is fully reported.

In the meantime, there are some good angles on Burma’s poll that are coming to my attention. One article that I should particularly highlight comes from the Bendigo Advertiser, a paper published in a regional town in the southern part of Australia. It quotes some refugees from Burma who now live in Bendigo; they are not shy about speaking their minds.

Its a sad reflection on the entire electoral situation that we cannot have equivalent local reporting, with such free expression of contrarian views, from inside Burma itself.