US Election

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By Brayden Hatch

The 2012 United States Federal Election has just come to a close with an expected but uncertain end. Democrat leader, Barack Hussein Obama will be sworn in for his second term in late January next year and all eyes will be upon him to see the results of another four years under the Obama administration. It was certainly looking rather close in the early hours of the results coverage but despite Romney’s gaining of North Carolina, Indiana and Nebraska, whom Obama had narrowly won in the previous election, continued support of the Democratic party from its major holding states; California, Florida and New York saw President Obama thrash his way to a win in the Electoral College vote for the Presidency. He secured his victory with 303 Electoral College votes, with Romney far behind with 206. However, within the popular vote it was a much closer race with a difference of only 2.8% to Obama, this would indicate a definite decrease in support from the 2008 election which saw the President to his first term in the white house.

A brief explanation of how The United States of America chose their President is not down to a general vote but through the use of an Electoral College system which consists of 538 seats through the Senate, the House of Representatives and the District of Columbia. The Presidential candidate must hold a majority of 270 to win, what this means is that even if one candidate holds the majority of the nation’s votes they can still lose if they don’t hold the majority in the Electoral College.

Despite America’s weak economy and high unemployment rate voters returned incumbents to office in the White House and Congress, keeping the same the balance of power in Congress and maintaining the current status quo. While many argue that change was needed to see America pull itself back from the cusp of economic decline, neither choice of candidate seemed really fit for the job, the question becoming: “do we venture on a new path or trust in the one we’re on now?” No former president has held office amidst such a bad economy since Theodore Roosevelt in 1904 but this won’t guarantee a docile opposition within the Senate or The House of Representatives.

There are definite challenges ahead for this administration, especially within a Congress that has been in a stalemate for the last four years and is rather unlikely to reach bipartisan support any time soon and when it’s needed most. A struggling economy, a definite coming budget deficit, the collapse of Medicare and rising complications within the handling of nuclear proliferation in Iran, just to name a few. On a positive note a second term in office will give way to ensure the Obama-care initiative but will also allow for improvements to be made, making it a tremendous accomplishment if not a legacy to his presidency.

Nothing is likely to change within Obama’s foreign policies, except a possible more focused stance on other issues such as immigration reform and climate change, however eyes will be on whether the Republicans maintain their front or try for a more united approach. This will greatly depend on how they view their defeat, was Romney just not up to the task of pulling through with a win? Or did Obama only just manage to swing the votes in his favor? Only time will tell, but as sure as anything the support of the American people and that of the world for now rest with one of the most revered leaders of our generation.

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