Posted in Group Discussion (GD) Topics with Answers, Total Reads: 4640
5 people are having a discussion on the given topic (Peter, Albert, Robert, Betty and Naomi)
Category: Social and political
Group Discussion Starts
Peter: Hello all, the topic given to us is US Presidential Elections 2016. US presidential elections happens for every 4 years. This time they are scheduled on November 8, 2016. In US, the members of the US Congress use their votes to elect President and the Vice-president.
Betty: That’s right. There are 535 members of the congress, which consists of 435 House of Representatives and 100 Senators. Along with US congress members, we also have 3 electors representing District of Columbia which makes it 538 votes. So to win the election, one needs to win 270 votes or more.
Albert: Yes. US basically have Democratic and Republican parties contesting in the elections. Barack Obama who belongs to Democratic Party, cannot contest in the upcoming elections as there is term limit in the constitution that restricts for only 2 terms for any president. Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump/Marco Rubio seem to be the front runners representing Democratic and Republic parties respectively.
Naomi: That’s right. It also seems that Republic party have some edge this time as People opine to expect some change in the rule after 8 years of Democratic rule. But, I think before we discuss about who could win, we should discuss about how Obama’s second term fared overall which will be the platform for deciding what kind of government we need going forward.
Peter: I agree. The major issues Obama concentrated in his second term are Immigration reforms, Climate change, same sex Marriage, and Gun control etc. He also focused more on economic revival and growth and less on its war and military issues with Afghanistan, Iraq and Middle East countries.
Robert: Absolutely. When it comes to Immigration reforms, He brought in an executive action program for the 11 million undocumented immigrants residing in US. This program releases the people who lived in US for more than 5 years and have a child who is a US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident, from the threat of deportation and provides them with work permit. This was a successful reform brought in which was a major relief for immigrants, though it is temporary.
Betty: That’s a good point. He was also quite successful in legalizing same sex marriage, showing strong inclination towards Gun control. Few other major success reforms were Pacific Rim trade deal, Affordable Healthcare act. Etc. which would help Democratic Party to pat themselves for the 2016 elections.
Naomi: I Agree. But, there are many pressing concerns as well related to Climate change and growing threat of extremism. US’s promise of reducing its carbon emission by 30% in the Paris COP21 meet will be extremely tough, given its use of Oil and gases. Obama took strong steps to fight extremism by joining together with other major Defence countries like Russia, France etc. But, it seems to be going nowhere. These two issues will be major issues to tackle for the upcoming government.
Peter: Well said. But, I’m afraid there are many domestic concerns as well that should be given more focus. They include Wage stagnation, mounting college debts, inefficient criminal system and security for minority communities etc. To talk about economic growth US is neither doing very well nor it’s bad. GDP growth has been ranging between 1.5 to 2.2 % in the last few years. Wage levels are stagnated for a long time though, unemployment rate has come down.
Robert: Yes. Adding to your point, College debts are becoming huge as college education has become quite expensive and students are funding them with loans which are offered at high interest rates in the range of 11%, which is quite high compared to regular mortgage or car loans. This would be a challenge as students would find it tough to pursue higher education.
Albert: Inefficient criminal system in US is leading to high Incarceration rate than other major countries and leading to lose productivity. Improper treatment to black men which can be seen in recent shootings are also creating violent environment in the country. I think for 2016 elections, both the parties have a lot to promise and to be responsible for.
Betty: Yes. I think they should focus more on its domestic issues given US is becoming to lose its sheen in performing as the best economy in the world, reasons being its lack of key reforms in economic and financial policies. Economists also suggest that, the new government will have to revise the tax system in order to meet its spending.
Naomi: Yes. Those were very important issues to be focused on. Now, to talk about who could have a better chance of winning in the elections, I would say it depends on how Democratic Party would manage till the elections. It seems like Hillary Clinton has a better chance in the current scenario, which can be enhanced if the Obama government could bring the economy to a stage where it can be seen as a successor to implement the good changes that it proposed.
Peter: I think it would be very tough to clearly say as the 2012 elections were also quite close and this time, there is more instability among the people which could lead to easy wins for republic party from few of the Democratic Party ruled states. It could also depend on how the minor communities like African-American, Latino would turn out to choose as Obama is not contesting again.
Albert: Yes. I think it is very important to not involve in controversies like, the recent controversies from Donald Trump related to religion and immigration, to gain trust from US people. It’s also about promising to bring changes for current problems that we discussed before. Republic Party, being a blockade in passing bills related to these issues in Obama’s regime will have to find its way now to campaign to gain people’s trust.
The US Presidential elections 2016 will see its own share of serious campaigning and competition this year like in 2012. Given the wide range of Issues The US is currently facing both domestically and internationally it will be very critical for both the parties to come up with an effective reform and growth agenda to come into power. Statistics shows that after ruling for two consecutive terms, it is likely that people would vote for change in US politics. But, it needs to be seen how Obama’s government could bring the economy to a stage where it can be seen as a successor to implement the good changes that it proposes this year.
Facts related to the Topic
1. US presidential elections happens once in every 4 years.
2. There are a total of 535 members of US Congress, which consists of 435 House of Representatives, 100 senators and 3 electors from District of Columbia (Washington DC) who will use their votes as electors.
3. The candidate should receive absolute majority (Currently 270) to win the election. In case of no majority, with the use of one vote from each state delegation, the candidate will be decided.
4. Popular Candidates: Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Red Cruz (Republican) Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders (Democrats)
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