We’ll  learn from US  polls  as we prepare for our own

E CARTOON OCT 30, 2018With a week to go before the United States midterm elections on Tuesday, November 6,  anger  is said to be driving American voters in record numbers to the polls.

Democrats are angry  over the enforced separation of immigrant children  from their families at the US-Mexican border, over  Russian intervention in their elections, and at President Donald Trump on a variety of issues, including his cavalier remarks on women. Republicans are angry over talk of the possible impeachment of President Trump, the continued streaming of undocumented immigrants into the country, and the generally critical treatment of Trump by the mainstream media.

We hope the sending of pipebombs last week to several prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and  Hillary Clinton, which were intercepted by the US Secret Service, is not a precursor to violence in this last week of the election campaign.

At the center of the elections is the voting for members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, which are now both controlled by  Trump’s Republicans. Democratic candidates ae expected to benefit from the anger-driven voter turnout all over the country.

For a variety of reasons, the world Is closely  following the US elections. Russians have been accused of intervening in the presidential elections of 2016  in favor of Trump and  they probably  hope the president and his Republican party will emerge stronger in this election. America’s European allies have been repelled by Trump’s  criticism of their policies. China is beginning to suffer from a trade war initiated by Trump in an effort  to balance  US-China trade relations.

Filipinos  always follow US elections if  only because every Filipino family today has a relative or two  among today’s  four million Filipino-Americans. The US also remains a close ally of the Philippines, despite recent Philippine government efforts to reach out to China,  Russia, and other countries. And our system of government  --  with a president, a Congress with a  Senate and a House of Representatives, and a judiciary led by a Supreme  Court – is patterned after that of the US.

Like the US, we too will soon  be holding midterm-elections, except that ours are in middle of a presidential six-year term, while the Americans’ are in the middle of their presidential four-year term. Our issues are different from  those in the US. We are not too concerned over immigrants or  the president’s remarks on women. We are more concerned about   the availability  of rice and the rising prices of market commodities.

But it is the concept and practice of free elections and democracy that really draw our two countries together. And so we will follow closely developments in the American election and learn from them what we can, as we prepare for our election on  May 23, 2019.