Right Steps & Poui Trees


350 Words or Less: Two Election Results

I didn’t think that the results of both of these elections would be announced on the same day, but they were. The delays in the counting of some votes in some states in the US election meant that the announcement of Joe Biden as the President-elect didn’t take place until today. Thank goodness that there won’t be a second Trump term.

Biden made a victory speech tonight and it was Vice President-elect Kamala Harris who introduced him, giving a victory speech herself. I must note that Harris, the first woman to be elected as US Vice President, is the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants.

Also announced today was the win for Mark Golding in the PNP presidential election. He garnered 1740 votes, while Lisa Hanna got 1444 votes, with 96% of the delegates voting. Golding, who is now the 6th President of the PNP, will become the Leader of the Opposition. He gave an acceptance speech at PNP headquarters shortly after the result was announced this afternoon.

Mark Golding delivering his speech today. At the table beside him in this photo are his wife Sandra and one of his daughters.

I had no vote in either election, but I think the better candidate won in both cases. How well they meet the challenges ahead of them remains to be seen.


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350 Words or Less: Two Elections & No Vote

This week there will be two important elections taking place that I am watching with interest, though I have no vote in either of them.

Tuesday, November 3. The US elections. Donald Trump for another term or Joe Biden as President?

A few weeks before the 2016 election I wrote this in a blog post :

“I have no vote, but I follow the election, not only out of a general interest but also because I have relatives who live in the US and because what happens in the US impacts the rest of the world.”

The same is true today, a few days before the 2020 election. Trump’s presidency has been diasatrous in many ways and the impact of a second term is difficult to contemplate. His mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US certainly sits squarely in the front row of issues for consideration. There is the possibility that the result of the election may not be known on Tuesday night and the question arises of what actions Trump may take if he loses but doesn’t want to accept that result.

I’ll be up that night and watching.

And then on Saturday, November 7, the internal election for the new President of the PNP will take place. Golding or Hanna? Not an election that has widespread global attention. But the outcome will matter in Jamaica, because the winner will not only be the President of the party but will also be the Leader of the Opposition. The people who vote in this election are the delegates in the PNP, a few thousand people.

I think that Mark Golding would be the better choice for Opposition Leader at this point but, as with the US election, I have no vote.

Two elections. No vote. Just waiting to see.


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350 Words or Less: President-Elect Trump

Five and a half weeks ago, I wrote this in a blog post:

When Trump declared his candidacy for the Republican primaries last year, I hardly paid attention. I was certainly one of many who thought he didn’t stand a chance and was in it for the publicity. Yet here it is, a few weeks before the US election and not only is he the Republican candidate but there is a possibility that he could win.

I have no vote, but I follow the election, not only out of a general interest but also because I have relatives who live in the US and because what happens in the US impacts the rest of the world.

Last night, Donald Trump was elected President of the USA. Surreal, but real. As well as gaining the Presidency, the Republicans held onto the House and the Senate.

At about 2:30 this morning, Hillary Clinton called Trump to concede and at 9:30am she will make her public concession speech in New York.

I chose a 350 Words or Less format for this blog post because, like so many people in America and around the world, I am still processing the Trump win and what it means for the world. One of the areas of most concern is what it means for the efforts to deal with the crucial issue of climate change.

As always, there’s work to be done….

 


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350 Words or Less: Grabbing Women’s Body Parts

Many years ago I was driving behind a minibus along Barbican Road, heading towards Barbican Square. The conductor was standing on the bus step, half hanging out of the bus as it moved along in the line of traffic. Just as we passed the intersection with Garth Road, the conductor reached out and grabbed the breast of a schoolgirl walking on the sidewalk, facing the oncoming traffic. The conductor laughed as the bus continued on its way. The adolescent schoolgirl, in her crisply pressed uniform, had a look of horror on her face, as she drew her arms up in front of her in a protective gesture.

Last week a video came to light in which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is heard saying the following, among other things:

“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

hands

Trump, in his apology or justification, said this was just “locker room talk”. As discussion about his comments continues, a number of women are speaking out about their experiences with Trump kissing, groping or grabbing them in the past.

Is there need for more discussion about who has the right to grab women’s body parts? In workplaces, homes, social settings, the street, schools, universities, public transportation, church, Parliament? Is grabbing a woman’s body parts without her consent ever acceptable? Does it matter who you are or who the woman/girl is? If you have power or are a star or are in a moving vehicle is it okay? Does her age or what she’s wearing or the size of her breasts or her perceived level of beauty matter?

Across the world, to varying degrees, women’s bodies are viewed with a sense of entitlement by men, viewed by many as there to be grabbed in one way or another, physically, verbally, metaphorically, legislatively, in whole or in part – breast, bottom, vagina, uterus.

And for many people, ah nuh nuttn.

 

 


350 Words or Less: So I Watched The Debate on Monday…

So, I watched the first US Presidential debate on Monday night and I think there is little doubt that Hillary Clinton won. She was well-prepared, knowledgeable and was calm and steady throughout. Donald Trump, whose campaign seemed to be making his lack of preparation into a virtue, was unprepared, didn’t have enough of a foundation of knowledge about many of the issues to wing it and rambled and misstepped a number of times.

The split screen of the two candidates, which was shown for most of the debate, offered a good opportunity for viewers to make an ongoing comparison for an extended period of time, both when the candidates were speaking and listening.

The link below takes you to the full debate, with the candidates coming on stage at 4:22.

Lester Holt of NBC was the moderator and the three areas scheduled for focus were “achieving prosperity, America’s direction and securing America”. A couple of notable moments were:

Clinton & Trump on aspects of race in America ( video 43:18 – 58:43)

Clinton & Trump on nuclear capabilities & defense (video 1:25:25 – 1:31:30)

npr-debate-transcript-26-9-16NPR’s annotated transcript from Monday night is another useful resource for reviewing the debate.

I agree with Clyde Williams that Clinton outscored Trump in all aspects of debate performance.williams-tweet-re-debate-26-9-16williams-tweet-re-debate-26-9-16-bYet I obviously can’t say that this performance guarantees that Clinton will win the election. Nobody realistically can. Not in what is an extremely strange election on so many counts. Many commentators after the debate said that they had never seen anything like it in their 20, 30, 40 years of watching US presidential debates. The most I would do is to agree with one commentator I heard, who said that Clinton’s debate performance may stop or at least slow the previous momentum towards Trump that was being seen in the polls. By next week, the polls should be showing whether or not this is so.

 

There are two more debates and 6 weeks to go till the election, which is a lot of time in politics.

 


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350 Words or Less: You Following the US Election Too?

Most days now, I check Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site. I could say I’m there to read the articles. There are often very good articles and sometimes I read them. But the truth is I’m there for the pictures. Specifically the three forecasting model pictures which answer the question:

ns-rwb

Here are the three pictures today:

 

The first gives the Polls-plus forecast, the second the Polls-only forecast & the third the Now-cast, which are explained below:

538-three-models-for-forecast

I can also have a look at the trend graph, which gives an indication of whether the gap between Clinton and Trump is widening or narrowing according to an overall assessment of polls.ns-polls-plus-graph-24-9-16-pm

When Trump declared his candidacy for the Republican primaries last year, I hardly paid attention. I was certainly one of many who thought he didn’t stand a chance and was in it for the publicity. Yet here it is, a few weeks before the US election and not only is he the Republican candidate but there is a possibility that he could win.

I have no vote, but I follow the election, not only out of a general interest but also because I have relatives who live in the US and because what happens in the US impacts the rest of the world.

On Monday coming, there will be the first of the three debates between Clinton and Trump. I will be watching. It will also be a lively topic for discussion with family in many countries via our dedicated e-mail thread and Whats App group. You can see the Trump campaign spin emerging in this recent interview with Jimmy Fallon, beginning at minute 1:05.

 

Fallon: …You say you don’t traditionally prepare for the debate…

Trump: …I was in eleven debates in the primary system…I never debated professionally or from a political stand point before…they’re trying to game the system…they’re trying to make it so that Lester’s going to come out and be really tough on me…

Nate Silver also had some thoughts on this:ns-trump-tweet-23-9-16-ans-trump-tweet-23-9-16-bns-trump-tweet-23-9-16-cClinton, based on knowledge and experience, should win this debate. But hey…