During the time of coronavirus, students of SCIE are all staying at home for the purpose of quarantine. However, members of the Politics ECA have successfully reunited through internet technology, and have gone through a wonderful discussion about the Super Tuesday event during the ongoing presidential election in the United States.
Our ECA activity was led by Mr Richard Driscoll as always. Before the class, Mr Richard has sent a little task for me and Davena: research on the Super Tuesday event and some of its primary candidates, including their original positions, main policies the number votes they get respectively. I will give a little summary here. The US presidential election is usually split into two stages, namely the primary election and a formal one afterwards. Super Tuesday is the primary election usually held in February or March when the greatest number of US states hold primary elections and caucuses. It will strongly impact on the final results of the election, so this day is therefore named as “Super Tuesday”. (We don’t really know why it’s Tuesday and not any other day though!)
The main candidates during the 2020 presidency election include Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (these two had just quitted the election unfortunately), all from the democratic party. From the other side we have Donald Trump for the republicans, and he is leading the votes in his party as the current president.
Joe Biden, being the 47th vice president of the United States, is an outstanding lawyer and politician in Delaware. He was also an experienced vice senator in his state and was ranked fifth as the youngest senator in American history.
Bernie Sanders is a Jewish American and is currently a senator in Vermont. He appeared on the ballots as an independent in the previous years, but as he joined the democratic party in this 2020 election he is considered to be a democratic candidate. He called himself a “democratic socialist” and seeks to promote welfare guarantees for the middle and lower classes and favours protectionism in hisdiplomatic policies. Based on his policies he was often considered as the “JeremyCorbyn of the United States”. (They look alike indeed)
Davena also gave an introduction onElizabeth Warren, a libertarian from the democratic party. Warren was once a republican in Pennsylvania, and changedto the democratic party in 1996, also became the first female senator from Massachusetts. However, her election results did not seem to be satisfactory. In the Super Tuesday primary elections, Warren did not actually win in any state, including her own state Massachusetts and her hometown, Oklahoma.
In this discussion, someone raised an interesting question: Why are the candidates for presidential elections getting older in recent years? Joe Biden was even close to 80 years old in this 2020 election. We have come to the conclusion that in recent years, the demands on the political experience and financial situation of the candidates have become higher and tighter. Many candidates have to work in the Senate or the House of Representatives for many years before they can finally climb to the top.
We also made an interesting comparison between the US election and the previous British prime ministerial election. Unlike the traditional 21-day campaign in the United Kingdom, the presidential election in the United States are much more time-consuming than in the United Kingdom and usually lasts for 1 to 2 years. Elections in the United States also focus more on the personalities and standpoints of the candidates: how they stand on issues such as racism, gender equality, and the issue of abortion that has attracted a lot of attention in recent years will usually severely affect their support. This explains why elections in the US will usually bring out many trivial and gossipy news (e.g. Hillary Clinton ’s “Mail Gate” during the 2016 election and Donald Trump ’s sexist comments used by his competitors to attack him).
The students of politics club have had an opportunity to engage in a wonderful discussion and had benefited a lot from it.