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Donald Trump: He can't win, can he?

Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr

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Most Canadians watching the U.S. presidential race were astonished to see Donald Trump emerge as serious contender for high office, let alone become the presumptive Republican nominee.

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After Trump, political parties are on the verge of extinction

Donald Trump at the New Hampshire Town Hall on August 19, 2015

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Is the era of political parties nearing its end? In the U.S. neither Donald Trump nor Bernie Sanders has a history in the parties they're vying to lead. They're recent arrivals. It doesn't seem to matter; in fact, it might help. Their lack of party connectivity may embody the movement of history.

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Image: Flickr/Gage Skidmore
| January 12, 2016
Columnists

Casino politics raise the stakes for U.S. elections

Photo: David Stanley/flickr

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"We are live at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas!" So opened the first Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 electoral season -- that's right, in a Las Vegas casino.

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2014 U.S. midterm elections marked by widespread voter disenfranchisement

Photo: kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop)/flickr

There is a database housed in Arkansas with the names of American citizens in it ... that is, if they live in one of the 28 states participating in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. It's one of the growing components of an aggressive drive across the U.S. by Republicans to stop many Americans from voting.

Early voting has already begun in many states in the 2014 U.S. midterm elections. Control of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance, as do many crucial governorships, congressional races and ballot initiatives. One question looming over this election is just how significant will be the impact of the wholesale, organized disenfranchisement of eligible voters.

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Democratic hegemony in the United States?

Photo: Kurtis Garbutt/flickr

Did we slay the old king? Have the Democrats consolidated political hegemony in the United States? In a recent essay, "Homeland" (New Left Review May-June 2013), Perry Anderson lays out the key economic, social, cultural and political determinants of American politics. The most interesting part of the article lies in the information and implications it provides in relation to the potential construction of a new Democratic era.

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U.S. election results no surprise

Image: Poster Boy NYC/Flickr

Well, the election circus down south is over. Some people are happy, some are really frothing at the mouth, and most are glad that it is over. As some commentators have declared, it was a case of choosing the least vile option that decided the outcome. And, as others have pointed out, it is also a case of the banks and big business retaining control given that both of the candidates were in their pocket.

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How the Occupy movement led the way to Obama's re-election

Photo: David Shankbone/Flickr

Obama couldn't have done it without Romney. But he couldn't have done it without Occupy Wall Street, either. In fact he needed Occupy Wall Street first, in order to make full, effective use of Romney. Here's what I mean.

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The decline of American democracy

Photo: ep_jhu/Flickr

Two days ago, the world watched the duel between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Who will win, people asked themselves? The "black Muslim Socialist," as Obama was often decried by his adversaries, or the "white Mormon capitalist," as Romney was often depicted by his detractors? Black vs. white? Modest origins vs. rich upbringing? Democrats vs. Republicans? Intellectual vs. popular education? Regardless of which side we were supporting, the two men represented the divide of a worn-out American society. They became, willingly or unwillingly, icons of their respective camps.

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After the U.S. election: Remembering the role of social movements in democracy

Photo: Casey Fox/Flickr

The election is over, and President Barack Obama will continue as the 44th president of the United States. There will be much attention paid by the pundit class to the mechanics of the campaigns, to the techniques of microtargeting potential voters, the effectiveness of get-out-the-vote efforts. The media analysts will fill the hours on the cable news networks, proffering post-election chestnuts about the accuracy of polls, or about either candidate's success with one demographic or another. Missed by the mainstream media, but churning at the heart of our democracy, are social movements, movements without which President Obama would not have been re-elected.

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