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Monday, June 17, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

"Voting is Over, Now We Can Talk About Something Else"

Proposition 19 nixed, and Republicans gain the House

Now that the elections are over and everything is said and done, we can finally release that held breath. Politicians can now return to governing; the smear campaigns and race jargon can finally take back their spots in the background of American media.

The staggering number of Republican seats in the House of Representatives concerns Democrats, but this is what happens at each midterm. Shifts in political party majority go toward the endless plea for reform. We ping-pong between political ideologies, thinking that next year the party that wears the pants will achieve the American dream for us.

Obama's lemon face on the cover of The New York Times is discouraging for his proponents, but America will last only so long under Republican rule before the essence of reform creeps back onto the challenger's side.

Proposition 19 did not pass, even though it is basically legal to smoke marijuana in California. With so much early support and with all the good press for the plan, Prop 19 seemed destined to become the first fallen domino to knock the rest of the states into similar money-making policies and looser regulations on marijuana.

But to be discouraged about elections would be like dwelling on losing a coin toss; there will be another election before long, and each American will have the right to vote and an opportunity to campaign. Proposition 19 came too close to give up its aim, and it is foreseeable that propositions 20 or 21 will pass with another few years of work and campaigning.

But back in New York, those who voted for Cuomo can only hope that he executes the office of governor more efficiently than Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson.

Perhaps this election season will be an effective wake-up call for passive liberals who balked at the challenge from Tea Party and conservative opponents. They have two years before they need to worry about the presidential ticket, but at this rate, it would not hurt to wake up a bit earlier for game day.

Obama still has the power to veto, but it will be a difficult second half of his first presidential term if progressive policy remains in bipartisan gridlock.

Still, to speculate on how it will go during the next few years would be an exercise in futility, as those whom we elect to run our public interests and policies have surprised us before.



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