Bonjour and Shalom Whyville! It's Xion2.
It's been a while . . . did you do something to the toe nail on your right foot, 6th from the left? No, oh well . . . So, after that terrific greeting, you must all be wondering why I decided to write on the Whyville Times . . . and to notice your toe nails. As to the toe nails, I am starting a collection (Did you know Gerald Ford's toe nails went for like $3000?). As to the Whyville Times, I wanted to shine some light on the on the election currently happening) - the 2012 US (Sorry Canadians . . . don't worry, I'll eventually write something for you) Presidential Election.
For those of you blessed Whyvillians who didn't die of boredom at the words "Presidential Election," or "Bonjour," I thank you, and you must have many questions. What is currently going on in the election? Who's running? Why should I care, especially if I can't vote? Who the heck is that awesome old dude running? Is president Obama going to win again? Well, all in good time . . . all in good time. I've been obsessively following this election. For right now, I would just like to give you all a general breakdown of what goes on in an election, and the basics of who is running.
Before a candidate can officially run for president, they have to win their party's nomination. Some candidates chose to run as independents, meaning without a party, but the majority chose to run under a party's banner. The main parties are the Republicans (conservative, meaning a smaller government, and things like lower taxes, no abortion, guns, and, in some cases a moon base [see below]), the Democrats (liberals, meaning a strong, central government, and views like pro-equal marriage, pro-abortion - President Obama will likely be the nominee for the Democrats), and the Libertarians (they follow the constitution as closely as possible). Parties hold "conventions" where "delegates" come, and select a candidate. The delegates are decided beforehand, and, in most cases, their votes are decided beforehand, at least for the first round of voting, through caucuses, and primaries.
In a caucus, registered party members (for example, in the Republican Caucuses, only registered Republicans can vote) vote on a candidate they hope to win their parties nomination. After all the votes are in, and counted, delegates' votes are given proportionally. For example, in the Colorado caucus, 33 delegates' votes were given out. Rick Santorum, who won 40% of the vote, which made him the winner, earned 17 delegates, while Mitt Romney, who had 35% of the vote, got 13 delegates. Though the votes aren't perfectly proportional, they still award votes to all candidates. Rick Santorum, who is very popular among super-conservative Republicans, often did very well in caucuses, before he dropped out. (More on that later.)
In a primary, anyone who is a registered voter can vote. They again choose their favorite of the candidates. Unlike a caucus though, the winner takes all. Whoever has the most votes wins all of the delegates. For example, in Florida, Mitt Romney won 46% of the vote, winning, and was awarded all 50 of the delegates. That means, when the convention comes in Tallahassee, all 50 of the delegates from Florida must vote for Romney. Romney does do pretty well in primaries, as he is pretty popular among non-Republican voters.
But, wait! What happens if no candidate wins a majority (1144 votes are required to win the nomination of your party) of the delegates at the convention? Well, then they go into another round of voting, allow for more nominations to be brought forward, and, most importantly, the delegates can then vote for whoever they choose, regardless of the caucus or primary results.
After the candidates win the nomination, they enter the general election, where it's just two main candidates (along with a few independents and 3rd party voters) competing head to head to win the presidency. Barack Obama will (most likely) be the Democratic party's candidate, while we still aren't certain who will win the Republican nomination. On the first Tuesday of November, voters will submit their votes as to who they want to be the president. In every state, the winner takes all. For example, in Texas in 2008, John Mccain won 55% of the vote, so he got all 34 electoral votes in Texas. Whoever wins the most votes by the state wins the election.
Here's a list of some of the presidential candidates:
Mitt Romney - (Rep.) 64 year old former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is running for the Republican Nomination. He was once a moderate, and turned Conservative, and has been criticized for this "Flip-flopping." Mitt has spent most of his life as a businessman, primarily working at an investment company called Bain Capital. He thinks his business experience will greatly benefit him when trying to fix the economy. His father was governor of Michigan, and he was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002, and worked hard to help their economy. He also was the CEO of the 2002 Boston Olympics, which nearly went bankrupt before he became their CEO. He is considered the front runner for the nomination.
Ron Paul - (Rep. and possibly independent) 76 year-old 12-term congressman from southern Texas, Ron Paul, who ran for president in 1988 (as a libertarian), and 2008 (for the Republican nomination), has been exciting young people across the country. However, this has been difficult to translate into votes. Ron Paul's campaign is considered a long shot, though he has been able to get about 125 delegates so far. (His campaign lists it closer to 250.) He has vowed to stay in the race even if Mitt Romney gets the nomination. Ron Paul, as I mentioned, ran as a Libertarian in 1988, and is very popular among independent voters. He is considering (or many of his supporters are forcing him to consider) a run as an Independent, however that likely won't happen. He is known for his consistency (he says the same thing on Monday that he said last Thursday), and his anti-big government ideas. He is considered something of a radical candidate, but feels that is what this country needs. Personally (and I don't want to get my own opinion mixed in this too much), I support Ron Paul.
Newt Gingrich - (Republican Expected to drop out this week) Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives has had an odd campaign. There were times he was at the top, and times when he wanted a moon base. (He said in a speech in February that he wanted 14,000 people to move to a moon "colony," and then to make it the 51st state.) He is the winner of the Georgia (Where he served as a congressman from), and South Carolina primaries, but has been doing very badly for the past 2 months or so. His campaign announced he would drop out this week, likely on Tuesday or Wednesday. (Am I the only one who finds it weird that he announced he was dropping out days before he did, but that wasn't considered him dropping out?)
Barack Obama - (Dem. Incumbent) Barack Obama, the 50-year old former senator from Illinois, and your (move over Canadians) President, is seeking reelection to another 4 years in the White House. He clinched the Democratic nomination (even though he was the only won running, he only received an average of about 80% of votes . . . the rest were "no candidate" votes) last month, and was ignoring the election until it became apparent that Romney would likely be his opponent. He is the enemy of the Republicans. As a history buff, I have never heard of an opposing party hating an incumbent so much since Lincoln in 1865. They hate Obama. Obama has been running on his record of job growth, and his withdrawal of troops in the Middle East, as well as everything he has done for struggling Americans. Obama has been leading Romney in general election polls, but only slightly. We'll have to wait and see.
Why it Matters
At this point in history, the United States is struggling financially, and globally. Our lives are the ones that are affected. A bunch of 45-year old voters aren't affected by college loans. We are. And so we have to care. It's our future. Our lives at stake in this election. It does matter to each of us, and yes, that does finally include the Canadians. We live just South of you. Any civil unrest here, and whoever wins could push a red button and bomb you all . . . Unlikely, but what I mean by that is, whatever happens here affects everywhere. That effect can change everything. There's a lot of wait on our shoulders.
This election promises to be an interesting one, and I'm just glad to be along for the ride. Thanks for reading, and thanks for caring. I'll be keeping you all updated. And, in this election, if I may say to all the candidates, "May the odds be ever in your favor."
Author's Note: I would like to apologize if my views were too biased. I tried to remain as neutral as I could, but like you all hopefully do, I have an opinion. Feel free to share these in the BBS, but, please, remain respectful.
www.foxnews.com (I do a lot of research.)