In the US there are only three requirements to be eligible to lead the country. You must:
- Be a natural-born American,
- Have lived in the US for a minimum of 14 years, and
- Be at least 35 years old
You don’t need a University education, a history in politics – or anything else, for that matter – not even any kind of formal training before or after.
How the election process works
The Electoral College was established in the constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of citizens. The Electoral College is a process, not a place, and most states have a “winner-take-all” system that awards all electors to the winning presidential candidate.
This means that the vote normally comes down to whether “swing” states such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, Indiana, New Hampshire, New Mexico and North Carolina favour the Democrat or the Republican – since these states have flip-flopped between both parties in the past four elections. I’m sure we all remember the 2000 Presidential Election recount controversy in Florida that eventually gave George W Bush the win over Al Gore by a margin of 537 votes.
The major issues
Realistically, the issues at hand include Immigration Reform, Global Trade, Fighting the Islamic State, Guns, Carried Interest (a type of tax shelter), the Estate Tax and Marijuana Legalization. If you’re curious to see where each party stands, I encourage you to Google them. The arguments are quite interesting to read.
Reality TV debate schedule
By the time you receive this newsletter the first of three televised debates will have occurred, likely with record viewership. I’m not really one for reality TV, but my guess is that the world will see a mud-slinging, name-calling embarrassment. Perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
What’s the deal with Photo ID?
17 states won’t require voters to show some sort of identification. SEVENTEEN. Only eight states have strict photo ID requirements. Pennsylvania passed one, but a state judge struck it down in 2014. Not everyone has a driver’s license, passport or other photo ID, and acquiring one can take effort or money. That’s why critics say photo ID requirements have a disproportionate impact on visible minorities, the elderly, students and people with disabilities. The judge who overturned Pennsylvania’s photo ID law wrote that it would “disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of valid voters.”
The bottom line
Will the Canadian, US and Global markets perform differently depending on which candidate wins the election? Probably for the short-term. Will there be a long and difficult bear market based on who gets in? No. How much power does the US President him/herself actually have by themselves? Not much. Will we continue to see a political gridlock in which a lot of rhetoric leads to little action and continued gridlock? Quite likely. Are we going to be okay? Absolutely.