March 9, 2016, by Joe

The US Election Explained

There has been a lot of coverage of the US election recently and it can be very hard to understand what’s going on in an election that is so different from our own. I have tried to make summary as informative and impartial as possible, I hope you learn something.

The Parties

The two main parties in the USA are the Democrats and the Republicans, the incumbent president Barrack Obama is the leader of the Democrat party, the 22nd Amendment prevents Obama from running for a 3rd term in office. The Democrats generally identify as Liberal, Progressive and political centrists. The Republicans generally identify as Fiscally Conservative, Socially Conservative and politically right wing. Although a vast diversity of opinions exist within both parties. In November 1 candidate from each party will run for the presidency in the general election.

Nominating A Candidate

Each state holds a either a Primary or a Caucus. These are 2 slightly different types of “mini-election” that will represent who the people of the state want as the leader of each party. However these elections are a form of Proportional Representation, rather than the “1st past the post” system we are used in the UK. In these elections, each state has a certain number of delegates, and these are assigned to the candidates in proportion to the amount of votes received, the number of delegates a state has is decided by population. So for example if in California , Chad Smith receives 55% of the vote and Brittany Jones receives 45% then Chad will be awarded 17 delegates and Brittany will be awarded 14. Hence why it can be confusing to judge a candidate on how many states they win.

The Candidates

Hillary R. Clinton– Former First lady and wife of former president Bill Clinton (1992-2000), Clinton is the establishment candidate of the Democrat Party. Winning the general election in November would make her the 1st female president of America in history. Clinton is the former Secretary of State and has focused her campaign on embracing Obama’s policies, her personal experience, local politics and Women’s rights. She is currently in 1st place to for the Democratic nomination.

Bernie Sanders– Incumbent senator of Vermont and former civil rights activist, Sanders is an outsider compared to Clinton due to his left wing views. At 74 years old, winning the nomination in November would make him the oldest presidential candidate in US history. Sanders focused his campaign on wealth inequality, social justice, global warming and reducing the cost of higher education. He is currently in 2nd place in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Donald J. Trump– Business magnate and television personality Trump is the anti-establishment candidate of the Republican Party. Known for his brash, confrontational and outspoken speeches, Trump has focused his campaign on reducing Immigration (especially from Hispanic and Islamic countries), military expansion and denial of global warming. He is currently in 1st place for the Republican nomination.

Ted E. Cruz– Incumbent senator of Texas, Ted Cruz is one of the establishment candidates for the Republican Party. Cruz originally was a lawyer before transitioning to politics, Cruz and his family are of Cuban decent. His campaign has focused on reducing the size of the government, traditional Christian values and reduced taxation and gun regulation. He is currently in 2nd place for the Republican nomination.

Marco A. Rubio– Incumbent senator of Florida, Marco Rubio is one of the establishment candidates for the Republican Party. Rubio was also a lawyer earlier in life, Rubio is Cuban-American, his parents having emigrated in the 60s. His campaign has focused on reforming taxation, libertarian values and repealing the same sex marriage laws. He is currently in 3rd place for the Republican nomination.

Posted in Joe