Tag Archive | "election"

Race to the Convention

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Race to the Convention

The candidates still in the running for presidency.

The candidates still in the running for presidency.

The primary season has been a jungle – from the Republicans who had 16 candidates at one point to the Democrats who started with five. Now we’ve reached a midway point, with the last primaries scheduled on June 7 and June 14. So, who still has a chance? Let’s take a look.

On the Republican side, the candidates have been whittled down to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich. At this point Donald Trump has a sizable lead, but Ted Cruz is still well within range to surpass Trump. John Kasich may be able to keep up or tie, but it’s very unlikely based off of the polling data. He is currently a distant third in national polls at 20 percent, trailing Donald Trump by 25 percent and Ted Cruz by 8 percent. He’s also behind in the delegate count by over 300 delegates, making it so that his campaign must win around 75 percent of the remaining delegates. 

Current polling data has Trump still winning in most states, but Ted Cruz is catching up to him in some. Trump’s home state is New York, which should go to him handily. John Kasich won his home state of Ohio, which should give him some momentum, but may not be enough to get him far, especially this late in the game.  

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are still battling it out. Clinton has the clear advantage and Sanders has lost momentum after failing to capitalize a significant win in Michigan. Sanders still has a chance to tie or win, but he has to win almost every state in the West and Central United States.

Current polling data has Clinton winning the big delegate states, including California and New York. While polling was very far off in Michigan, these states may still be securely in Clinton’s hands due to New York being her home state and California typically being fairly establishment, also known as the party elite who decide the platform and ideology of the party. However, California also has a strong liberal base that may not see Clinton as liberal enough for the presidency. Sanders is still polling well in the smaller states, but he has to win big in these states in order to get the delegate count he needs.

Here are the current delegate counts:

Republicans (1,237 to win)

Donald Trump: 752

Ted Cruz: 463

Marco Rubio (dropped out): 173

John Kasich: 144

Democrats (2,383 to win)

Hillary Clinton: 1,266.  Superdelegates: 471

Bernie Sanders: 1,038.  Superdelegates: 31


Posted in Global ViewComments (0)

Bernie Sanders packs Breslin at MSU

Tags: , , , , ,

Bernie Sanders packs Breslin at MSU

Over 10,000 people came out to see Sen. Bernie Sanders speak at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center Wednesday evening. Lines to get into the building wrapped around the Breslin Center, braving the bitter cold several hours before Sanders took to the podium at 7 p.m.

The crowd was composed mostly of young adults. A few hundred attendees stood on the floor, roughly 10,000 filled the surrounding lower-bowl seats and some even caught the speech from the upper level.

Michigan’s primary election is Tuesday March 8. Sanders concluded his speech by asking all those in attendance to march to the polls next Tuesday.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in State SideComments (0)

Trump and the exploitation of ignorance

Tags: , , , , ,

Trump and the exploitation of ignorance

Immigration was, is, and always shall be one of America’s chief long term controversies. Public opinion is perpetually shattered in half—liberals calling conservatives heartless bigots and conservatives firing back with arguments that suggest amnesty can’t realistically be sustained. Differing political philosophies clash like the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object.

In turn, it’s become very easy for American’s perspectives to become awash with rhetoric—rhetoric laced with misinformation that has inadvertently encouraged xenophobic attitudes. So, it’s become necessary to take a more realistic look at the state of immigration in America today.

Let’s first consider Donald Trump’s wildly controversial statements—statements mind you that have given him feverous support from millions of right leaning Americans. Trump has gone as far to call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

Muslims haven’t been the only target of Trump. Earlier in his campaign he made extremely inflammatory remarks towards Mexican immigrants saying, “What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists.”

Trump has repeated this mantra ad nauseam with little in the way of actual facts. Unfortunately, because of his position as a major presidential candidate, many Americans are inclined to take his every word as truth. After all, what he’s been proudly proclaiming is based on very common preconceived negative stereotypes that many Americans have also falsely accepted as fact.

There is a strong reason to believe his outrageous remarks, which are repeatedly devoid of factual information, are made to exploit and piggyback on the support of xenophobic right wing Americans.

The Washington Post did some fact checking homework on Trump’s big claim that “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Not surprisingly, Trump has been exaggerating quite heavily. Washington Post writer Michelle Ye Hee Lee found that, “Of 78,022 primary offense cases in fiscal year 2013, 38.6 percent were illegal immigrant offenders. The majority of their cases (76 percent) were immigration related. Of total primary offenses, 17.6 percent of drug trafficking offenses and 3.8 percent of sex abuse were illegal immigrants. Of 22,878 drug crime cases, 17.2 percent were illegal immigrants.”

Lee also addressed more facts that disprove much of what Trump says about immigrants. Lee explains, “2010 Census data in a report from the American Immigration Council, a pro-immigration group, shows that 1.6 percent of immigrant males 18 to 39 years old were incarcerated, compared to 3.3 percent of native-born males. That disparity in incarceration rates has been consistent in the decennial Census since 1980, the report says.”

Regardless of Trump’s comments against Latino immigrants, the evidence is not there. Doing actual research proves that most of what he’s said, is simply hyperbole based on misconceptions.

It’s not just the Washington Post that’s taken the issue to task. In a similar article written by Albert R. Hunt for The New York Times, more damning facts were found that put the immigration issue into a different context. The reality of the immigration situation is not in alignment with the frenzied image Trump has created with his hateful rhetoric.

What Hunt found is that “Net migration from Mexico is negative, many experts say; more people are returning to Mexico than are illegally crossing the border into the United States.” This is a fact that many people in Trump’s camp, do not seem to be aware of.

There’s a myriad of other facts that dismantle a lot of popular notions about immigration. Namely that the number of undocumented immigrants is actually decreasing. There are currently 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, as compared to the more than 12 million there were in 2007. Also, the Obama Administration is actually responsible for more deportations than any other president in history, according to government data.

Obama has developed a reputation for being soft on immigration, for seemingly no real reason. Republicans like Trump have ridden this image with serious success, rallying an anti-immigration base that believes these candidates are the strict lawmakers that will squelch immigration. Ironically, the presidency currently spends more on fighting undocumented immigration than any other federal crime.

A large portion of the United States seems to be in a collective agreement with Trump. Sadly, many have not put much in the way of critical thought and are content with letting ignorance drive their thoughts on the crisis at hand.

Trump has been allowing his dangerous hyperbole to dehumanize multiple sects of people who are really just trying to live their lives. Like every single population to have ever existed, some turn to crime, but not nearly to the extent of which Trump preaches like the end all be all truth. Placing blame on problems that have very diverse factors causing them is highly irresponsible for a politician with such a large audience. One can only hope that primaries nominate candidates that don’t exploit ignorance for votes.

Posted in Global Corner, Global ViewComments (0)

Taiwan, China or Taiwan and China?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Taiwan, China or Taiwan and China?

The presidential elections were held in Taiwan on Jan. 16. After Tsai Ing-wen, the first female president of Taiwan, won the election, sharp political debate has accelerated and broken out about the future relationship between mainland China and Taiwan. So, what is really going on?

For general concepts, you need to know about the extremely complicated history of Taiwan. Here is the Taiwan profile – Timeline” published on Jan. 20 by BBC news. The history around 1949 has given Taiwan a controversial status.

The conflicts between Taiwan and China don’t only exist in history, but also in daily life, whether noticeable or not. The conflicts even happen around Michigan State University.

Recently, Holden Hall at MSU posted a board displaying the “Home Countries.” As the picture shows, the Live On office put Hong Kong, Taiwan and China’s flags separately. Some students voiced their anger about the display and one Chinese student sent an email to the MSU Live On office claiming the incorrectness of this composition. The student expressed his issues with Taiwan and Hong Kong being referred to as home countries on the board.

The "Holden Home Countries" board in Holden Hall.

The “Holden Home Countries” board in Holden Hall. Photo via Kaiyue Zhang.

“The word shown in the picture are seriously disrespectful and insulting, especially for Chinese students,” Li, a math freshman who asked not to use his full name, wrote in an email. The Live On office gave a response very quickly.

“She replied (to) me in a few seconds and showed the willingness of discussing the future boards with me after I sent (an) email to her. She is pretty nice,” said Li.

According to investigation, the responsible officer from MSU Live On used the home country data from the sheets students completed when they signed in.

The environment Chinese people and Taiwanese lived in has influenced their consideration of their identity.

“The government system is different, I’ve grown up in democracy, I’ve grown up speaking the way Taiwanese speak, I’ve grown up writing how Taiwanese would write, so I consider myself as Taiwanese,” said Austin Shiau, a freshman who was born in Australia and grew up in Taiwan.

Undeniable, the culture difference is a big part of the reason why people from Taiwan consider themselves as Taiwanese instead of Chinese; however, the government education also influenced people’s perspective.

Beijing and Taiwan both hold that “There is only one China.” “The One-China Policy” states that countries seeking diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China must break official relations with Republic of China and vice versa.

What’s interesting and the real cause of ambivalence is very likely because of the different textbooks and education about sovereignty in Taiwan and mainland China.

According to the Anti-Secession Law of People’s Republic of China: “There is only one China in the world. Both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is the common obligation of all Chinese people, the Taiwan compatriots included. Taiwan is part of China…”

However, at the same time, the 7th Additional Article of the Constitution of Republic Of China states: “The territory of the Republic of China, defined by its existing national boundaries, shall not be altered unless initiated upon the proposal of one-fourth of the total members of the Legislative Yuan…” This has been effective since 2005.

There is an important basic cognitive bias in psychology called the Availability Cascade, which refers to a self-reinforcing process in which a collective belief gains more and more plausibility through its increasing repetition in public resource (or “repeat something long enough and it will become true”).

Whatever the governments are doing, the conflicts between mainland China and Taiwan have been planted deeply in everyone’s mind.  

The president Tsai Ing-Wen said when interviewed by CNN: “Only through strength, can we gain more respect and protect our people and our democratic way of life.” CNN reporter Kristie Lu Stout also mentioned the decreasing support of “One-China” in Taiwan: “According to Taiwan’s national research center,  a growing number of young people on the island are identifying themselves as Taiwanese rather than Chinese, choosing to identify with their birthplace as opposed to the homeland of many of their ancestors.”

On Jan. 20, after Tsai Ing-wen won the election, some people from mainland China jumped out from the Great Firewall and started a furious attack to the people who insist the independence of Taiwan on Facebook. The main sponsor of this attack was Diba, one of the largest Chinese message boards on the Internet, which has 20.54 million followers while the population of Taiwan is 23.43 million.

The question about sovereignty of Taiwan has been asked by people for a long time. Some questions in Quora (a question-and-answer website) and Zhihu (Chinese version of Quora) also clearly represent the totally different opinion between mainland and Taiwanese people. While “Why do educated Chinese people still believe Taiwan is part of People’s Republic of China, if the PRC has never actually controlled Taiwan?” gained 100+ answers with rational evidences, the question, “Why people from Taiwan do not regard themselves as Chinese?” attracted around 100 informative answers before the question was closed by the Zhihu official account.

The conflicts seem to never end. Recently, the words “Taiwan is an island country in the Pacific Ocean with a democratic government” and a series of information about Taiwan was posted in the same board as “Holden Home Countries” posted before. Under the map and flag of Taiwan, a small sentence, “Information from: Taiwanese Student Association” heaves in our sight. Even though it’s just a small board in one of many universities in America, people from mainland China and Taiwan still care and fight for their sovereignty standpoint; and those people are just normal students. It’s even harder to imagine how the conflicts distribute in all other corners over the world.

Posted in Global ViewComments (2)

Jennifer Granholm: Where is she now?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jennifer Granholm: Where is she now?

Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan and Michigan attorney general, was a dominant political figure in Michigan for over a decade. Since her final term as governor ended in 2011, she’s seemingly kept a low profile. What exactly has she been up to?

Granholm was seen as a likely choice to run for Senator Carl Levin’s empty Senate seat in 2014, but declined for family reasons. She also aided with President Obama’s transition team in 2008. Granholm has managed to remain a well-discussed political figure in Michigan and is bolstering her national presence as well.

Former Governor for the State of Michigan Jennifer Granholm. Photo via Creative Commons.

Former Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm. Photo via Creative Commons.

Throughout President Obama’s two terms, Granholm has been speculated to be on the short list for three positions: the associate justice of the Supreme Court, which was eventually filled by Elena Kagan; the other associate justice seat filled by Sonia Sotomayor; and the attorney general position now held by Loretta Lynch.

Despite not holding office, Granholm hosted her own political talk show, “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm.” The show ended after its host network was bought out by Al Jazeera. Granholm then went on to co-chair Priorities USA Action – a Political Action Committee aiming to aid in President Obama’s reelection.

Recently, after Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential push gained momentum, Granholm became a leader in the PAC Correct the Record, which aims to protect Hillary Clinton from political attacks, where she can act as a surrogate for the Clinton campaign.  

What lies ahead in Granholm’s future? One thing is for certain, the United States may not be done with her yet. After years of being passed over by the Obama Administration, perhaps she will have her opportunity in the potential Clinton Administration.

Granholm has been a long-time supporter of Hillary Clinton, even endorsing her during the 2008 presidential primaries. This support over the years has the likelihood to promote Granholm from useful backbencher during the Obama Administration, to cabinet-level material in the possible Clinton Administration.  

Granholm has been frequently discussed as a good pick for the Supreme Court or as attorney general, but current speculation sees her taking a place in Clinton’s potential cabinet as secretary of commerce. If given this position, she would be in charge of promoting American businesses and industries.

Jennifer Granholm’s political star may be far from set. Her commitment to public service is pushing her into the inner circles of Democrat powerhouses – where she could easily rise in prowess. Due to her rise among Democrats and the political connections she’s made, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Jennifer Granholm stays in the public eye for years to come.

Posted in Global ViewComments (0)

Master of the House, Keeper of the Zoo: The US Speaker Race

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Master of the House, Keeper of the Zoo: The US Speaker Race

Many people have been asking the question, what is going on with the Speaker of the House? For those who don’t know, the Speaker of the House is the leader of the United States House of Representatives. Usually, the Speaker is the leading member of the majority party in the House.

Speaker candidate, Paul Ryan. Photo via Creative Commons.

Speaker candidate, Paul Ryan. Photo via Creative Commons.

However, the current Speaker, John Boehner, is resigning and the Republican Party has found itself divided on whom to select as their new leader. The Republicans in the House are split into different factions, those of the establishment and those of the Freedom Caucus (among other caucuses). The establishment is those who follow what the mainstream of the party fight for and believe in. The Freedom Caucus is a right to far-right leaning group of some of the most conservative members of the House.

But why does this prevent the Republicans from picking a new Speaker? The reason is that in order to become Speaker, the candidate must reach a majority vote. In the House, this totals to 218 votes. There are 247 Republicans in the House, which usually means that they can elect their Speaker without a problem. However, the Freedom Caucus totals 36 members, which leaves an establishment candidate seven votes shy of election.

Due to this, many different representatives of the establishment are toying with the possibility of a bid for the Speakership, in order to see if they would be able to appease the Freedom Caucus. So far, Kevin McCarthy, Jason Chaffetz and Bill Flores cannot match up to the Freedom Caucus’ own contender, Daniel Webster. McCarthy has already dropped out of the running after being considered the front-runner, because of his position as the Majority Leader.

Does this make the House ungovernable?  In some people’s minds this shows that the Republican Party is unable to lead or legislate effectively, while for others it is seen as the Republicans taking a stand for what they believe in. Those of the latter opinion believe that one man can rise to the challenge and unite the factions—Paul Ryan.

This opinion may in fact hold true. Members of the Freedom Caucus have indicated that they would be willing to support Ryan, and the official caucus vote had two-thirds of the members in support of Ryan. Chaffetz and Flores dropped out of the race in favor of Ryan as soon as he made his announcement. Ryan previously stated that he was comfortable in his current position as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and would not seek the Speakership. This changed as it became more and more apparent that no other Speaker candidate would be able to get as much support as Ryan.

It is widely recognized that he is the only candidate that can unify the factions, and he admits this himself. According to CNN, Ryan said, “I never thought I’d be Speaker … But I pledged to you that if I could be a unifying figure, then I would serve — I would go all in. After talking with so many of you, and hearing your words of encouragement, I believe we are ready to move forward as one, united team. And I am ready and eager to be our Speaker.” 

In short, the campaign for Speaker of the House is a horror show worthy of the Halloween season. The election itself will take place on Oct. 29, so the next speaker will take office just in time for the annual festivities surrounding Halloween.

Posted in Global ViewComments (1)

Preview of the Democratic Debate

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Preview of the Democratic Debate


From top left: Hillary Clinton, Lincoln Chafee, Lawrence Lessig, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb , Martin O’Malley.

On Oct.13 the main Democratic Party candidates for president will face off in a debate. The two front-runners will be a dominant force on the stage while the other three main candidates may scramble for screen time. Find out what to watch for in the debate, including each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

Hillary Clinton

Strengths: Clinton is a long time public servant with a wide range of followers. She’s also proven to be very versatile and adaptable to current politics. Her favorable public image with Democrats is sure to make her a spectacle on screen.

Weaknesses: The scandals of her past and present, in addition to her evolution on issues, have caused many people within the Democratic Party to leave her side for a fresher face. This debate will be her chance to regain those who she has lost.

Bernie Sanders

Strengths: Sanders is a voice of the Left, even further left than most of the Democratic Party support. This gives him a bit more screen time for entertainment value. However, because of these views he has also catapulted in the polls and gained a great grassroots following.

Weaknesses: He is a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist. In the United States, this is a term to be avoided in politics; because of this identity he may inadvertently turn away voters who are turned off by the term “Socialist.”

Lincoln Chafee

Strengths: He has had tenure as Governor of Rhode Island, one of the most liberal states in the Union.

Weaknesses: Most Democrats consider him a “flip-flopper” opportunist. He has been a member of the Republican Party before and this has come back to haunt him. In addition, not many people within the Democratic Party know about him.

Martin O’Malley

Strengths: His last term as Governor of Maryland saw great victories, such as: the end of the death penalty, the passing of a D.R.E.A.M. Act and same-sex marriage. These victories should be his talking points when discussing his ability to get things done.

Weaknesses: Many people will recall his time as Mayor of Baltimore and bring up the current state of Baltimore after the riots this past summer. This may bring into question his ability to champion black rights.

Jim Webb

Strengths: He is running as a moderate, taking the centrist position on most issues. His criticism of the Affordable Care Act may not be a strength among most Democrats, but it may win him some pats on the back from Southern Democrats.

Weaknesses: He served as Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan. Even though this is a great position to serve in, Reagan is a big “no-no” when it comes to the Democratic Party.

Bonus Candidate: This candidate is not currently invited to the debate, but is being talked about like a major candidate since he’s been included in major polls.

Lawrence Lessig

Strengths: Lessig’s stance on electoral reform is matched only by Bernie Sanders. Since Sanders is a front-runner, the debate questions may be tailored towards the issues he is running on. This means that if there are substantial questions about electoral reform, Lessig can attempt to jump in and steal the spotlight.

Weaknesses: Despite his views on electoral reform, Lessig is running as a “referendum president.” This is his own way of saying that he will run on the one issue of electoral reform and once he has accomplished that, he will resign the presidency. This is an inherent flaw in his campaign since Democrats (and every other party for that matter) are looking for a president to run on a variety of issues.

Posted in Global ViewComments (0)

Western Spring: The Uprising Against the Establishment

Tags: , , , , , ,

Western Spring: The Uprising Against the Establishment

Photos via Creative Commons

Photos via Creative Commons

Before May 7, when Jeremy Corbyn announced his bid for the Labour Party leadership election, many people would not know Corbyn, possibly not even his name. Now, he has been elected the leader of the Labour Party and subsequently, leader of the opposition.

Before April 30, when Bernie Sanders announced his campaign, many people did not know his name. Today, he is gathering huge grassroots support for his presidential bid.

Before June 16, when Donald Trump announced his campaign, no one believed that Trump would actually run, let alone become successful in polls.

What do these three people have in common? They challenge the establishment of their parties as well as their nations’ governments.

The establishment is essentially the group of political insiders who have been involved with politics for a long period of time. They represent the status quo of governing systems while the anti-establishment figures fight to change, in some cases radically, current systems such as immigration or electoral policy.  An example of an establishment figure in the United States would be Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush, while an example of an anti-establishment figure would be Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.

The electorates of the United Kingdom and the United States tend to follow similar trends. Conservative parties currently run the legislature of both nations and both of their electorates currently have a strong distaste for the political establishment these parties have helped create, such as a climate of uncompromising politics. This is why members of the Labour Party voted Corbyn in by a landslide.

The way leadership elections work for the Labour Party involves the voters choosing the candidates by preference. If any one candidate does not gain more than 50% of the vote, the one with the least percentage of the vote is disqualified and the people who voted for them move on to their second choice.

This procedure generally causes there to be two or three rounds of voting until a consensus is made. However, Corbyn managed to not only win in the first round, but did so with 60% of the vote. This is a major landslide victory that has resounding implications for the United States.

As mentioned, the U.S. and the U.K. electorates are very similar. Corbyn was elected as a true left-leaning leader and an anti-establishment candidate. You hear similar complaints about the establishment and non-ideological stances in the U.S., for example terms such as RINOs, which stands for Republicans in Name Only.

It can be interpreted that the election of Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party can be used to measure the temperature of the U.S. primaries. Candidates like Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders are seen as anti-establishment and ideologically strong in their own rights, not just because of their attachment to a particular political party.

The success of Corbyn will likely inspire these candidates and give their supporters more hope for their success in the primaries.

In an article from the Huffington Post, Bernie Sanders said, “I think whether it is the U.K. or here in the United States, here’s the answer: People are sick and tired of establishment politics. They are sick and tired of a politics in which people continue, candidates continue to represent the rich and the powerful — go out beggin’ money from the wealthy. They are sick and tired of an economics in which almost all of the new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.”

Posted in Global ViewComments (0)

Enthusiasm surrounding election down despite newfound voter eligibility status

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Enthusiasm surrounding election down despite newfound voter eligibility status

The upcoming presidential election holds special significance for many Michigan State University’s current undergraduate students. When President Barack Obama won the election in 2008, most of the students populating the residence halls, studying at the libraries and strolling to classes amongst friends did not cast votes. For students who only recently entered legal adulthood, the 2012 presidential election is surrounded by the youthful excitement of finally having a chance to help decide the nation’s future.

“This is my first time voting for president,” said sophomore Jasmine Hunt. “Presidential elections just feel so much more exciting. It’s a big deal.”

Whether it’s absentee or they’re going to the polls on Nov. 6, many MSU students are voting for the first time this election. Photo credit: Alyssa Firth

Seniors Jazmine Miller and Delorean Brown agree with Hunt, and both said they plan to bestow Obama with their first ever presidential election votes.

“I’m voting for Obama, and it’s honestly not even a race thing for me anymore,” said Miller. “As a college student, I really feel like Romney doesn’t understand me and what I need.”

“It’s important for the middle class to be represented,” added Brown. “College students have a lot to deal with like financial aid and college loans. I want someone who will understand that. I want someone to make policies that will help me as I graduate college and start working.”

According to Bonnie Bucqueroux, a journalism and media professor who emphasizes the importance of being informed to her students, the mindsets of Miller and Brown are common at MSU.

“Many college students are in a transition period,” said Bucqueroux. “They are starting to shed some of their self-centeredness, while slowly becoming more aware of important global issues. Mainly, though, MSU students are concerned with how the next president will help them specifically. Students want to be able to find jobs. That is their top priority.”

“MSU students are exhausted”, said Bucqueroux. “They just want to see something happen.”

Sophomore Erin McGowan is one such student. She said she doesn’t think students understand the importance of the election and why they need to get out and vote.

“This is my first year voting, but I know a lot of people who are voting just because their parents told them to,” she sadi. “I understand it, though. The issues addressed on the news and in the debates can be confusing. The importance of voting and learning about the issues should be stressed more on college campuses to increase the knowledge of student voters and, in the long run, increase our country’s understanding.”

Being an informed citizen is vital, and, clearly understanding this concept, Bucqueroux offered extra credit points to any of her students who watched the recent presidential debates.

“The logic behind that,” said Bucqueroux, who arranged the debate viewings on large projectors, “was to encourage my students to become media literate. There are so many sources of information out there, and not a single one is completely true. I want students on this campus to seek information from all different sources, and to be interested in a wide variety of issues.”

Delorean Brown feels similarly.

“I just really hope people are smart about their votes. I want people to be informed voters, not just voters, and truly understand why they are voting for a candidate”.

Bucqueroux made clear that the current campus level of involvement does not come close to the excitement surrounding the 2008 presidential election. Despite decreasing enthusiasm and increasing pessimism, the youth vote still carries tremendous weight.

Since 2008, experts estimate that 19 million Americans have become eligible to vote. Even if the youth voters of 2012 are less enthusiastic than they were four years ago, their sheer numbers ensure the vitality of the youth vote.

Likely, many college students do not fully grasp the power they hold. Young voters matter. It is entirely possible that this nation’s youth will decide the 2012 presidential election. MSU students have full and hectic schedules, but becoming informed and casting a vote on November 6 should be considered top priorities.


Posted in State SideComments (0)