Like our neighbours to the south, those of us in Canada stayed up late into the night eagerly watching the results of the 2012 American Election. Unlike many Americans however, Canadians generally have a better understanding of how the electoral congress chooses the President, and how that congress is chosen separately by the voters and are only required in some states to follow the popular vote when casting their ballots for President. In the US, winning the popular vote does not necessarily win the Presidency, though it makes the slog a lot easier. Many Canadians, and people around the world, sighed in relief this morning as the Democrats won the most votes in the electoral college, giving Obama a second term.
Unfortunately for President Obama, his victory was marred by a Republican victory in the House. With the US Federal world divided between President, Senate and House, a single party must hold at least the last two positions for them to move forward with their initiatives, as the President will generally refrain from blocking most legislation approved by both the Senate and House. This morning, the Democrats hold the Senate and have Obama as President, but the Republicans retained the House they took in 2010.
On the bright side, many of the most controversial Tea-Party members (a Republican, hard-”right” sub-group) were sacked by the electorate, allowing more moderate members to take their place. Much like the 2010 House election, there will be a large number of new faces in congress. If these new faces are not as hyper-partisan as their predecessors, it may provide an opportunity for the Democrats and Republicans to work together to pass legislation and guide the country. But in all fairness, it is far more likely for the deadlock to continue and for the American Congress to provide a blocking mechanism for repairing the United States of America.
There were a great many other issues on the ballots last night, but here’s a couple of highlights. First, same-sex marriage won the popular vote in both Maine and Maryland, marking the first time this has happened in the US. Congratulations to same-sex couples in the area on your impending marriages, and congratulations to the various industries involved in the wedding business on your impending profits. What’s good for people is good for business, too bad the reverse isn’t necessarily true. However, Michigan’s approval of the new bridge between Canada & the US will certainly be of great benefit to business, without burdening the people of Michigan with any costs associated with building it. It boggles the mind to think there was a chance this could fail, but the owner of the current bridge ran a very expensive campaign to block the construction in order to retain profit from his bridge. That being said, a bridge between countries being owned by a private individual or corporation is definitely something that should be questioned by both the people of Michigan and Canada.
On the whole, Americans effectively voted for more of the same. There will be no radical shifts in direction and no gigantic push for controversial legislation, from either Republicans or Democrats. With the House and the Senate holding majorities from opposing parties, the deadlock that has crippled the American legislative system for the past two years will continue. This blockage will give the rest of the world additional breathing room, and provide us all with the opportunity to carve our own way forward, without excessive interference from the US Government. On behalf of TTEOP, Congratulations Obama, and good luck on your second 4-year term.
Popularity: 4% [?]
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