Head here for live election night updates from 5:30pm EST!!!
So here it is, the biggest day for one of the biggest countries in the world, by land mass, by population, by economy, and by media coverage as the 2012 US Presidential election has attracted a swarm of journalists and political pundits from around the world on biblical proportions! As voting stations opened this morning, thousands began to cast their votes. Early polls begin to suggest that President Barrack Obama will be victorious in those so very vital swing states. What happens in the next 48 hours will no doubt have repercussions around the world. It is all down to the swing states Ohio, Florida etc. The team here at the Internationalist are just a small fish in a very big pond on the coverage, hopefully we satisfy your hunger for the latest updates by working around the clock and being all ears!
So for anybody living under a rock...on the moon, here is a crash course in whats been happening in the run up to the election and the basics of what the two main candidates stand for:
The story so far:
The two candidates have spent the past year immersed in preparation for this day. Over the winter and spring of 2011 and 2012, potential candidates have been set against each other to capture the support of voters and the party. By summer things started to get hot. Campaigning Efforts have been of epic proportions from not just the candidates themselves but a wide-range of different social groups and individuals. For example celebrities such as Chris Rock, Katy Perry and Samuel L. Jackson for Obama and the Simpsons character Mr. Burns for Romney. Although the campaigning efforts and contributions run right down to the door to door campaign groups and societies which have been reaching out to the nation alongside the candidates official campaigning team, listening to their views and to try and secure their vote for today.
|Photo from Publisher.dailymotion.com|
After the televised debates, the campaign efforts focused on the traditional tactic of relentless rallies, advertising and travelling to potential "swing-states" which upon support of a particular candidate, could effectively give that candidate the presidency. Notably both candidates have chosen states in the mid-west, north-west, and of course Florida as prime target areas, in states such as Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio where both candidates devoted their last final hours of campaign drive to secure vital votes from the electorate.
Now we watch and wait, for the outcome of the next 15 hours or so will of course send shock waves across the nation and across the world and set the game for America's next four year political agenda.
Below, for anyone who is unsure of what sets the candidates apart in what they stand for, we have a section on key policies and motives for the candidates that they will propose if given the presidency.
What do Obama and Romney stand for?
A common view of US politics especially from those who are disengaged with politics or have no knowledge of US political ethos would say that essentially the two candidates aren't much different from each other and that politicians should express more conviction! Here is why this election is different:
In the outcome that he is given another term, Obama will plan to make changes in some areas of issues concerning the nation and at the same time keep some things relatively under original plans in other areas. For example:
|Obama in his last minute effort |
to secure votes at a rally in Ohio.
Picture from bbc.co.uk
Here Obama is much more progressive. In areas of policy such as environment and energy issues the President is taking a lot more consideration and careful thought about the future of the nations energy demands, notably shown in his decision to hold back on the moving of oil sands to the Gulf of Mexico amid concerns about its impact on the environment something shockingly not realised beforehand resulting from the ill thought nature of the plan. Moreover, even more highly popular is his plans to invest in the upcoming market of green energy and new regulations on cleaner forms of energy such as wind and solar power etc. designed to bring them up to a suitable standard of development to be used as an equal energy provider for the nation alongside more conventional methods. Another key progressive move by the President, nonetheless controversial for many Americans and their religious convictions is his stance on abortion rights, in which he has expressed support for.
On the controversial issue of illegal immigration, which burdens many government administrations of economically developed countries, Obama is, on the subject of adult illegal immigration, on similar grounds with Romney. Increasing the deportation of adult illegal immigrants by a mile. However where the two candidates differ is on the concept of young illegal immigrants. Obama, recognising the social and ethical issues raised from arbitrarily deporting young illegal immigrants with no home to go to, has given them legal-status in certain cases. Actually getting around the deadlock of congress to enact this.
|Obama at an election rally. |
Photo from Reuters/Daily Telegraph
And of course there is the economy. the President has been in a sticky situation with how to tackle a global financial crisis and a rotten wall street culture that quickly became seen as the cause of the crash. However Obama, showing his nerve, has introduced bailout plans and economic stimulus packages paired with investment in crucial infrastructure such as education, health and energy etc. to bring the economy back into relative control where it can be commanded more easily for the future.
The President will aim, in a new term, to become even more progressive on the economy. To start implementing what has been dubbed as the "Buffet rule" (following a speech by billionaire Warren Buffet in support of the policy) increasing tax on the extremely wealthy and re-distributing the money to kick the economy back into growth and to invest in efforts to bring down unemployment. Moreover Obama wishes to make steps to abolish far right influenced tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 implemented in the Bush administration.
If candidate Mitt Romney is elected into Presidency much he will propose to change, although it should be noted that such changes Romney is proposing are not in fact a further change in a positive direction for current policy but a more conservative attempt to revert back to policies both domestic and overseas, that were envisaged by the Bush administration in the early 2000's. Seeing events like the economic crisis and the constant turnover of circumstances in the middle east as no obstruction to returning to core neo-liberal economic values of minimal tax for the wealthy and a heavy hand in foreign affairs across the globe, particularly in the middle east.
|Romney meeting supporters.|
Picture taken by Justin Sullivan/
Getty Images. Picture from Standard.co.uk
Issues at home seems to be where Romney differs the most with Obama on policy, especially in relation to energy, healthcare and economical issues. For example Romney proposes a complete u-turn on Obama's healthcare reforms, and is essentially arguing for those who cannot afford healthcare to see past the voiced ethical concerns surrounding market influence in potentially life and death issues and buy their insurance on the market. Romney criticises Obama on illegal immigration policy yet he has not yet made definite alternative policy apart from the notion that illegal immigrants should feel the need to deport of their own free will by economic pressure from the state.
On Energy policy Romney is surely sticking to his Republican guns with no remorse. Romney advocates further oil exploration, nuclear investment and coal burning via removing restrictions on the practice of using this energy resource. Irrespective of its impact on the environment. Notably he is in favour of having oil sands refining in the Gulf of Mexico despite popularly voiced environmental concerns.
And to save the best for last we have economic policy. This is probably where the distinction between Romney and Obama hits its penultimate point. Romney would propose a complete reversal of Obama's regulations on the banking sector and the market. To go alongside this Romney also advocates thorough cuts to federal government expenditure in various departments though not specified yet. Romney argues that this will allow for the economy to grow. On the question of tax and the relationship between the state and the extremely wealthy, Romney is perhaps a favourite for those with deep pockets. He advocates a return to the Bush administration tax cuts for the wealthy, reducing corporate, investment income and estate tax.
Why should I vote Democrat (Obama) or Republican (Romney)?
If you're still an undivided voter, or someone not planning of voting at all this election, here are a view reasons why you should vote for each candidate.
Mitt Romney is a well known Republican with a lot of previous political experience. He spent many years as Governor of Massachusetts, where his economic policies lead to great growth. He got behind the state and began to run it as if he were a CEO of a company. Mitt also was made president and CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics where he was relatively successful.
|The President casting his vote. |
Picture by MCT/Landov/Barcroft media.
Picture from DailyMail.co.uk
The incumbent president Obama is a well known liberal. During his time in office he is well known for his for lack of presidential achievements. Many Americans feel that during the last four years, the economy has failed to see a very large improvement. In states such as Ohio however, many Americans see great economic improvement and we may see Obama take that swing state tonight.
Obama needs turnout. Since many of the core Democratic supports tend to be young, it is vital for the Democratic Party to get out and vote today. Obama wants to continue his policy of economic growth, although many people see this as slow pace and unhelpful to their lives. However, many Democrats would feel that their lives are better secured under an Obama White House. Romney is typically seen by many voters as disconnected and for the rich.
From 5:30pm EST (10:30pm GMT) today, catch our live US election updates here - http://www.theinternationalist.org/p/us-election-night-2012-liver.html
Also, we're going to be hosting a live webcast on BlogTV from 7:00pm EST (12:00am GMT) come along, discuss the results as they come in and debate with others here - http://www.blogtv.com/people/The_Internationalist
Ross Holden and Dom Jenks - The Internationalist