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U.S. students abroad prep for ‘Super Tuesday’

by Archives January 29, 2008

When it comes to producing melodramatic entertainment, no one can touch the variety of TV shows produced south of the border. Yet, even with the end of the writer’s strike in sight, we are not devoid of cheap theatre: the United States presidential primary has made sure of that.
Start with some genuinely interesting candidates, throw in some barbed remarks, a smidgen of character defamation, a lot of laughing and even a tear or two, and you end up with the most entertaining, albeit non-fiction, programming since “Days of Our Lives.”
With the primaries starting to heat up, not all Concordia students are passively watching from the sidelines. For American students at Concordia, their interest in the primaries goes beyond pure entertainment.
“I hope to God that there’s nothing more like Bush,” says American Deijai Barnes, a political science major at Concordia.
Like other Democrats, Barnes is anxious to see a Democrat in the White House, especially after two Bush terms. Barnes said that his mom, also an avid Democrat, keeps a little “Bushisms” calendar at home that keeps track of the months left until Bush is out of office.
But what is an American Democrat living in Canada to do about playing their part in the democratic process?
Enter Democrats Abroad, an official party organization that allows American Democrats outside of the States to vote for their favourite candidate. Democrats Abroad will be holding its “Global Primary” vote this year in time for the much-anticipated “Super Tuesday,” when 20 states will be holding their primary votes simultaneously.
By registering online through this organization, Democrats living outside of the States will be able to cast their vote on Feb. 5 presidential candidate along with the millions of other Americans living in the States.
Still, not many American Concordia students have registered to participate in primary voting. This was confirmed not only by Democrats Abroad, but also by the other connection to American voters, Republicans Abroad.
“Primary voting is not as important to most Americans as the presidential election, especially to those outside of the States,” said Kelli Wight, from Toronto’s Republicans Abroad chapter.
According to Wight, most Republicans’ concerns ought to lie elsewhere.
Elsewhere being the Democratic candidates, to be exact. “My main hope in the next election is that Hillary Clinton does not get elected. The Clintons are the reason why there are terrorist problems for the States. Hillary is in it for power, she wants to be President for the wrong reasons,” said Wight.
Clearly, the political sniping is not limited to the candidates.
But the Presidential election is when both organizations are busiest. However, Wight said Montreal is a bit of an enigma for Republicans Abroad. “We actually have never come into contact with any Republicans in Montreal, although we know they are there,” said Wight.
Chalk Montreal up as the blue state north of the 49th parallel.
Another Democrat at Concordia is Communications student Josh Mocle, the news director at Concordia’s CJLO radio station. Though born in Canada, he grew up in Boston and has been keeping a close eye on the primaries. With the New Hampshire primary already concluded, he said that it was hard to gauge the sentiment back home during the highly contested race between Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
“It was covered in [the media], this woman who shed a tear for Hillary during a speech went and voted for Obama right after,” says Mocle.
Barnes’ state’s primary election, on the other hand, is still to come, and he said he would be voting through Democrats Abroad. But living in Canada has had an important influence on his political views. “I haven’t been home for almost 10 years, and you can say that Canada has influenced me very strongly to see socialism as a solution to a lot of [issues in society],” said Barnes.

For more information on voting, go to www.democratsabroad.ca, and www.republicansabroad.com

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