Volume 94, Issue 27

Wednesday, October 18, 2000


USC clubs in hot water

Bank governor opens vault of history

Big wheels not turning

Mount Trudeau falling in a landslide

Campus Briefs

Gore and Bush charge to elections

Corroded Disorder

Gore and Bush charge to elections

By Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff

US presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore are at a standstill in the race for office and Western academics have various opinions concerning the upcoming electoral battle.

Dennis Hudecki, associate professor of philosophy at Brescia College, said the current election is so tight, candidates are paying the price for even the smallest mistakes. "It's exciting," he said. "The polls are really reflecting the day-to-day campaign."

He said Democratic nominee, Vice President Gore's numerous exaggerations throughout the campaign have been disastrous for the Democrats. "People don't want a leader who is loose on the truth," he said.

The Republican nominee, Texas Governor, Bush has spoken confidently on global and national events, he added, explaining Bush has erased some of public doubts concerning his competency.

"You'd think the Democrats would have the wind at their back with the booming economy, peace and prosperity," he explained. "There are still worries over the effect of the Clinton scandal. Character issues will determine this campaign."

William McKercher, chair of political science at King's College, said a higher voter turn-out always favours the Democratic party because they have a larger electoral base among the working class and minorities. "I think fewer people are interested in this election and that will always favour the Republicans."

Western associate professor of political science, Donald Abelson said there are no major economic, domestic or security issues facing the United States going into this election.

"Neither candidate offers an innovative vision of how the US should be governed," Abelson said.

He said Gore's weakness is based upon a lack of credibility, solid identity and personal warmth or charisma. He added he thinks Bush suffers from an image of lacking competency.

Abelson noted Gore's strengths were intelligence, knowledge of the issues and a vast political experience. He said Bush comes across as more in touch with mainstream America, but lacks intimate policy knowledge.

On the whole, Abelson said neither candidate was overly impressive, which has led to voter apathy.

"It's a sad commentary that out of a population of 300 million these are the best individuals the US can come up with," he said.

A key issue in the election is the control of the Supreme Court, said Western history professor Craig Simpson. Since the incoming president is responsible for making three or more justice appointments during the next term of office, he said the types of judges appointed to the Supreme Court could have direct impact on issues such as abortion rights.

Abelson said Gore is in a difficult political position is difficult because he has to be loyal to corporate interests, as well as the Democratic position of supporting women, the working class and the environment.

He said he thinks Republican supporters are more consistent, adding Bush has less bridges to build between a diverse group of voters.

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