November 4, 2016
“The November 8 US presidential election is the weirdest one in US history for more reasons than one. Both the candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have high and low likeability ratings respectively among US voters,” said Ken Mcbridge, political economic officer of the US Consulate General , Chennai.
Delivering his address on the US presidential election process at Compass-Exploring New Direction , an event organised by GRD School Of Commerce And International Business & GRD Institute of Management here, Mcbridge said that the US and India have a lot in common, as the oldest and biggest democracies in the world.
Noting that there will be 10.7 million more eligible voters in the current election, he said that the share of non-white voters too has increased, when compared to 2012. “Big money fuels the US elections as the supreme court has declared that political spending is a form of free speech, but Bernie Sanders, who withdrew from the presidential contest, had introduced a new idea into election funding, accepting small donations from his supporters, unlike other candidates who depend on big corporates and Wall Street for funding their election campaign,” he said.
Hillary, the first woman presidential candidate, has a slight edge over her Republican rival, but whoever wins, the US- Indian relationship would be on a even keel, and the military, economic and people to people relationship will only continue to grow, Mcbridge averred.
Giving a historical perspective, he said that only 6 per cent of voters had voted in the first ever American presidential election held in 1789 and only 13 states participated. As per the constitution, a presidential candidate should be born in the US and should have domiciled in the country 14 years before the elections. The two term limit for US president was ratified in 1951 with the 22nd constitutional amendment.
Though the US President is believed to hold great powers, he cannot declare war without the concurrence of the Senate, Mcbridge pointed out.