Monday, 12 November 2012

Amendment 64 - Colorado

So one of the interesting pieces of last week's US election - although many people were tired of the back and forth of a bitter campaign - was Amendment 64 in Colorado.

Amendment 64 was passed narrowly 54% to 46% which was the request to legalize pot/marijuana or whatever you choose to call it.

It is an interesting dilemma as there is a lot of pressure to keep taxes down and spending up - how do governments do this as they need new sources of revenue?

Many cheers were heard when the amendment passed even though the state politicians and many mayors were against this as there are many concerns including how does a State work with putting in the rights to use when there are still Federal laws that say it is illegal?

An interesting dilemma for sure!

As a side note Washington State approved to vote on this issue in their next election.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

US Election from a Canadian Perspective

It was a pleasure to be in Denver CO on Election Day. The pundits said it would be TOO close to call - well the popular vote was close BUT the results were in early that Barack Obama remained as President.

Colorado was considered a swing state so it was exciting to be here. Everywhere you went last night people were glued to television sets and it wasn't because the Nuggets were playing - wow what a shock when politics beats sports in any town!

Staff in restaurants paused to catch the results - how was Colorado going to go and would the 2 hour time difference make a difference. Luckily here it was a warm sunny day so turn out was expected to be high.

The final results were close
Obama 1,091,234
Romney 1,021,983

Who was making the difference? Women who were Independent voters - no surprise - Romney just didn't connect with women in general - most women I talked to had a hesitation about Romney but couldn't explain why - they loved the way he was with his wife and his sons but there was a niggling reason as to why hey would vote for him.

Hispanics now make up 20% of the voting population in CO and so they will become a stronger and stronger vote here.

The next President of the United States will have to face this challenge - how to attract the female and Hispanic vote.

As an outsider what was fascinating was the engagement of everyone I met that day - the air was buzzing with excitement - people were engaged and talking about it and there were cheers in the town square when the results were announced. The advantage of a warm evening was the ability to congregate and listen collectively. It was such an interesting day as I can't remember an election that was so close and engaged a nation in a conversation.

I look forward to seeing how Obama can build on the engagement of young people, women and Hispanics in the next 4 years to encourage them to continue to be involved and engaged in politics for the betterment of all.