Concordia University held a conference that focused on the factors leading to the outcome of the 2012 presidential election and its impact on international affairs, last Thursday.
Professors Graham Dodds, Michael Lipson, Harold Chorney and Graham Carr each spoke about different issues concerning the candidates and the months leading up to the election.
Lipson focused on foreign policies that were discussed throughout the campaign between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, stating that Obama’s tactics garnered more support while Romney’s didn’t inspire confidence.
“Romney was never clear during the campaign of what he would do concerning foreign policies,” Lipson said. “Although Obama didn’t introduce new plans, he showed we can expect continuity of foreign policies.”
Furthermore, Lipson claimed that the debates were integral to the election and that he was “widely seen as winner of the third debate.”
Chorney strongly believes that Romney’s positions on abortion and women’s rights “were deeply insulting” in comparison with Obama’s “more sympathetic” stance that pushed Americans to favour Obama. Dodds, a political science professor, agreed with Chorney that Obama’s take on women’s right helped him win.
He further stated that Romney’s comments and views on hispanics and immigration were perceived as ignorant by a large portion of American citizens.
Chorney felt that Obama won because he “speaks beautifully” and has become an iconic figure in politics.
Carr, VP research and graduate studies, spoke about the implications of the election on Canada and political culture.
Carr believes Obama’s re-election will have an impact on Canada for several reasons. One being the Keystone XL pipeline that Romney advocated during his election. In January, Obama won the approval of environmentalists by rejecting the creation of a pipeline that would transport bitumen from Alberta to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico that would create jobs in both nations.
Orin Loft, a first-year sociology and anthropology student at Concordia, said that he was surprised with the outcome. While Loft didn’t necessarily support Obama’s success, he didn’t want Romney to win because “he’s completely out of touch with too many things like women’s rights, gay rights and economic standings of the middle class.”
“The women’s vote really helped him out,” said Loft about the Obama campaign. “Romney wasn’t really strong with that front.”
With files from Kalina Laframboise