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The U.S. election: a sea-saw

     What, if anything, will change after November 6 elections in the United States?  It’s practically a draw on the eve of the election, according to most polls, so the result could be decided in the Electoral College, rather on the basis of which candidate hauls in the greatest number of votes.

      If it does go to the Electoral College, it will be the fifth time the College has decided the winner and there will predictably be protests. If Barrack Obama is (re) elected that way, the Republicans will scream that Mitt Romney should be president because Obama doesn’t represent the country’s popular vote; the same will certainly happen should Obama be named president by the College rather than by popular vote.

     That's what happened when former president George Bush was elected: he was never able to shake off the accusation of Democrats that he “stold” the 2000 election in a recount of Florida votes that required a U.S. Supreme Court decision to determine the winner.

    No matter how the next president is elected, future policies of the incumbent president will force a negotiation of future polices, that is there will be a merging of proposals proclaimed in the campaign by both candidates.

     U.S. politics functions in a dual way: Republicasn versus Democrats, liberals versus conservatives and in a related way fundamentalist believers versus progressives. Independent or "third" options practically don’t exist, although a few marginal votes will go to leftist, green or rightwing tendencies; other nonconformists will present blank votes. Traditionally, a third to a half of the potential voters don’t participate in the presidential elections.

    On the internation scene this dual vision is manifested in terms of classifying people and nations as friendly or not friendly to the U.S. pro-americans versus anti-americans, communists versus anti-communists, terrorists versus anti-terrorists, capitalism versus socialism or any one of its variants.

     The process of polarization brings quirkiness to the Electoral College system and turns it into the arbitrator, leading candidates to pass by the nation’s biggest population centers, except when it comes to fundraising, so as to seduce the narrow slice of voters in the states that wobble between one or the other options.

      What will the areas of negotiation be?

    To deal with the present economic-financial crisis, Obama wants to slightly increase the tax on the wealthiest sectors of society; on the contrary, Romney (a member of the economic elite in view of his robust forture) would reduce taxes. The result: neither one nor the other.

     Romney would like to do away with Obama’s medical care program for those some 30 million persons without access to medical attention. Obama would like to continue and improve it. Result: a watered down public health system.

       Unemployment. Romney would increase employment on the theory that giving big business numerous breaks will stimulate companies to hire workers: Obama would try to stimulte public works programs. Result: a sea-saw.

      Romney has a rather unclear position on abortion but his conservative backers are adamantly opposed to it. Obama and the Democrats generally favor it. Result: a sea-saw.

     Both Romney and Obama strongly back the “war” on terrorism initiated by the Bush administration, but with different strategies. As with most U.S. military involvements, the “war” was never approved by Congress. Both candidates will aggressively support opposition movements in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iran. Romny would be less resistent to direct U.S. military intervention in the area; Obama would probably continue his present cloak and dagger approach. Result: an almost certain heating up of international tensions.

Latinamerica?  In the campaign and in the political debates between Obama and Romney the candidates found little need to refer to relations with countries south of the border. However, the Republican candidate has criticized Obama for allegedly “soft” policies towards Cuba and Venezuela. Under Obama the activities of  surveilance in the area have increased and activity at U.S. military installations has also increased—despite the need to terminate presence on an important base in Ecuador. Both advocate the continuation of the economic blocade of Cuba and both will strongly push trade agreements favoring U.S. corporations and oppose local agreements such as ALBA and Mercosur. Romney would more strongly support conservative options, such as that in Chile, Panama and Honduras. Result: Latinamerica will continue to be the “backyard” of Washington.


Sábado, 27 de Octubre de 2012 10:58 alfredo #. Noticias (News)

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gravatar.comAutor: louise imm-cooper

Interesting to read a commentary of how the election proscess and the consequences that follow its results are viewed by some "in Latin America." What many citizens in the USA believe is that no matter who is elected, the power will still, as always, remain in the hands of the economic elite. That's who has the real power.

Fecha: 28/10/2012 01:06.

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