Greg Perry's take on the Republican candidate for President of the United States.

Greg Perry's take on the Republican candidate for President of the United States.

The U.S. election, explained

Answers to many of your questions about the state of the election south of the border.

I understand there’s an election in the U.S. in November, so I’m guessing the election season has only just started. Yes, there is an election in the States in three months; but if you think it’s only just started, then you’ve obviously been in a deprivation chamber for the last four years.

Why do you say that? Because the nature of U.S. elections is that they start roughly 24 hours after a new president is elected.

Wait, that was in January 2013, wasn’t it? Yes; and not long after that, potential candidates to lead the Republican and Democratic parties began jockeying for position.

So who are the nominees? Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican).

Where do the two parties stand on the political spectrum? It depends on who you ask. Americans will tell you that the Democrats are left-wing and the Republicans right-wing.

So the Republicans are equivalent to the Conservatives, and the Democrats line up with the Liberals? You will have your little joke, won’t you! You know how many Canadians felt that Stephen Harper had taken the Conservative party too far to the right? In America, the Conservative party under Harper would be considered dangerously left-wing, while the Liberals are little better than Communists. Heaven knows what they’d make of the NDP.

Okay, tell me about the leaders. Hillary Clinton is a graduate of Yale Law School, a former Secretary of State, and a two-term senator for the state of New York. Donald Trump is a businessman with a history of bankruptcies whose greatest claim to fame is for his role in the reality TV show The Apprentice.

Wow, Clinton seems a lot more qualified. She must be walking away with this. Not so fast. Trump’s “tell it like it is” persona and lack of political experience is seen as a plus by many voters, who distrust Clinton’s political ties. There is also the matter of Clinton’s affairs, both proven and alleged.

Wait, Hillary Clinton has had affairs? No, not Hillary; her husband Bill, to whom she’s been married for 40 years.

Trump must be pretty squeaky clean, then. Au contraire. Trump has five children by three wives and is a confessed adulterer.

You mean many people forgive Trump for his indiscretions, but hold Hillary’s husband’s indiscretions against her? In a nutshell: yes.

So what are their campaign platforms? Clinton is campaigning on a number of concrete policies and proposals, such as racial justice, more rights for the disabled, more support for veterans and military families, supporting small businesses, combating gun violence, and giving immigrants a pathway to full citizenship. Trump wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans out, use torture against members of terrorist groups, ban Syrian refugees and kick out any who are already in the States, get rid of gun-free zones at military bases and in schools, target and kill the relatives of terrorists, and deport all illegal immigrants.

Are both candidates endorsed by their parties? Clinton, yes. Former Democratic president Bill Clinton and current Democratic president Barack Obama have both endorsed her. Trump, not so much. Two former Republican presidents—George Bush and George H.W. Bush—have both said they will not endorse him.

Explain again how Clinton isn’t walking away with this. Your guess is as good as mine. . . .

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