American Election 2012

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The 2012 presidential election is massively important for many reasons. It is also important for Canadians to be aware of what is going on as we are affected by the choices that our neighbors to the south make.

The 2012 election puts Democratic Obama/Biden (up for re-election) against Republican Romney/Ryan in a nail-biting election. President Obama has been campaigning for a year and a half for reelection and fighting every step of the way against controversial yet popular Massachusetts Senator Romney.

Three presidential debates were held during the election campaign period in which Obama and Romney face off on important issues facing America. It was agreed that Romney won the first debate, with President Obama winning the second. The third and final debate held in October is arguably the most important because it is the closest to the Nov. 6 election.

Obama and Romney tackled foreign policy in the final debate, a hot topic for the presidency. Romney seemed to be concerned with Russia and China in regards to American foreign policy, while Obama focused on issues in the Middle East. Obama brought up the fact that he took out Bin Laden during his presidency. Romney congratulated Obama and agreed which is odd for a debate.

One important issue that was sidestepped in the final debate was a discussion of climate change which both candidates have been reluctant to discuss.

The debate was viewed by more than 60 million people; CBS and CNN declared Obama the victor of the final debate. Many were critical of the debate, calling it terrible while noting that it didn’t really touch on any significant or important issues that should have been relevant during such a crucial election. Glenn Greenwald from The Guardian thought it was awful saying, “That was just a wretched debate, with almost no redeeming qualities. It was substance-free, boring and suffuse with empty platitudes.”

This election has been extremely close with Obama and Romney nearly tied in public polls 50-49 per cent, certainly the American people are torn between the candidates. When it came to election night on Nov. 6 the election was neck-and-neck for most of the night and people were beginning to wonder if Romney would overtake Obama. In the end Obama won the re-election with 303 electoral seats and Romney with 206. Obama took many of the important swing state of Ohio which won him the election. Obama even won Romney’s home state of Massachusetts. The final numbers won’t be tallied for a few days now, but Obama is also leading the popular vote over Romney by a small margin.

So what does the American election mean for Canada?  The most important issue facing Canadians is the US-Canadian Keystone XL Pipeline. The pipeline is a rather controversial issue and with Obama winning the election it means that debate for it will open up once more and Obama is likely to approve it. Obama and a democratic presidency winning the election is good news for Canada.