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No surprises in US elections

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“To err is human … but if it’s less than 4 percent, it’s only sampling.” So went the winning slogan on the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s conference T-shirt sometime in the 1990s.

Posted: November 16th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Is positive change possible in this country?

US President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spoke about the “American dream.” Ours is a different story: There is no such thing as a “Filipino dream.” There are only nightmares of corruption and innumerable sociopolitical ills. There may be blue states and red states in America, but it can be said easily, as President Obama asserted, that there’s only one “United States.” The same cannot be said about the Philippines.

Posted: November 14th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Reelecting Obama, questioning Aquino

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Say this for that much-disparaged American invention, the Electoral College: It makes a convincing mandate possible in a closely divided nation. While Barack Obama won the popular vote by Lincoln’s whisker—a simple majority of 51 percent to Mitt Romney’s 48 percent, according to NBC News—he won well over three-fifths of the 538 electoral votes at stake. (The popular vote margin was some 3.3 million votes, much lower than the 10-million vote differential recorded in the 2008 election.)

Posted: November 12th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Highly contagious

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“COUNT ON Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else,” Winston Churchill once joked. They did the right thing is what our e-mail traffic indicates, after Barack Obama trounced Mitt Romney with 303 Electoral College votes to win reelection.

Posted: November 9th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Monday morning quarterbacking

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The Monday morning quarterbacks are now out in full force, some pointing out Mitt Romney’s fatal mistakes (why he lost), others perorating on why Barack Obama won—analyses that, while coming from different perspectives, had tremendous overlaps.

Posted: November 9th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Women and the bishops in US polls

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WHO MADE Barack Obama win a second term, what many called a “second chance,” as US President? A wire report attributed his victory to a coalition of “Hispanic, African-American and young voters.” But Nancy K. Kaufman, a blogger for “Politics Daily,” wrote a day before the elections that the “deciding demographic of this year’s election” was women.

Posted: November 8th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A political awakening

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I arrived in San Diego a few days ago and was able to have my first live experience with elections in America. Partisan politics in the United States was never of great interest until Obama ran and won in 2008. I felt then, as I still do now, that Barack Obama is a specially destined person signaling a new phase in US and global politics. It was not so much about his qualifications and skills, it was more about what he represented and the new directions that he could take America – and the world it influences.

Posted: November 8th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Viewpoints | Read More »

Lessons from an election

WHEN BARACK Obama won the US presidential election in 2008, we joined the many who celebrated his unlikely candidacy, his disciplined and trailblazing campaign, his historic victory. But we also read Obama’s ascent in the context of the times: “Let us focus on the clear meaning of the 2008 election,” we wrote then. “It was a complete repudiation of the Bush administration.”

Posted: November 8th, 2012 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Two systems

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IN THE closing hours of this year’s US presidential election, both the Democratic and Republican parties were reported to be mobilizing their battery of lawyers to quickly respond to issues that could affect the outcome of the vote. This is quite unusual. So stable has the United States’ political system been that legal challenges and electoral protests are seldom seen in its political exercises.

Posted: November 8th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Obama’s victory: How it happened and what it means

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Washington, DC, Nov 7, 2012–The polls had pointed to a very close election, and those of us who gathered around a television set here in a friend’s house in Washington, D.C., expected to be up till 3 a.m. to find out the final results. But by around 11:15 p.m. (US East Coast time), it was all over. All the major television networks projected a victory for Barack Obama in most of the so-called battleground states. In Florida, Colorado, Virginia, and especially the so-called bell-weather state, Ohio, without which no Republican candidate has coasted to victory since 1964, Obama had won a majority, and only in one of those states, Florida, was his edge paper-thin.

Posted: November 8th, 2012 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

US elections: Magic number is 270

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On Wednesday (Tuesday in the United States) Americans will troop to the polls to elect a president and vice president who will lead them for the next four years. The incumbent President Barack Obama is in a tight race against a strong challenger, Mitt Romney, the Republican standard-bearer. All national poll figures indicating leads for either Obama or Romney are within a margin of error. This means that the race may depend not on the results of the nationwide popular vote, but on how a uniquely American institution known as the Electoral College will decide the contest.

Posted: November 4th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Political transitions

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Byainte an resting coincidence, the two most powerful nations in the world—the United States and China—will choose in the same week the leaders who will govern their respective peoples, and, by extension, shape the conditions for peace and development in the rest of the world. Filipinos cannot but take a keen interest in these transitions, not just because many of us identify with America’s fate and reserve the deepest suspicions for China. It is also because these two countries show us two contrasting systems of governing a society that invite us to reflect on our own.

Posted: November 3rd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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