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US Presidential Elections 2012: Barack Obama won the Second Term


Barrack Obama
 Introduction
One of the most polarizing, expensive and balanced campaigns in the recently concluded presidential polls with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney battling out in a heated chase. It was perhaps the toughest one year for both, Obama and Romney. The most highlighted media event of recent times, they did not have to try hard to touch the masses but also ask them to come out and exercise their right to vote for good or for worse, to make America a better place.

Issues
Unemployment, taxes, the economy and how to manage the federal government’s $14 trillion debt were the leading issues in the 2012 recently concluded campaign. Other issues that were touched upon were, alcohol, threat of china to the US, legalization of the death penalty by law, outsourcing of jobs, labour unions, debt limit, oil company subsidies, environment, election reforms, euthanasia & physician-assisted suicide, health care, immigration, military forces against Iran, war on Iraq, gay marriages, Palestinian statehood,  occupying wall street, legalization of gay marriages, drone strikes, military budget, war on terror, and the much controversial building of ground zero mosque at the world trade centre.

Candidates and Parties
There are basically two major parties that were neck to neck for occupying the oval office, and they were:
  • The Democrats led by President Barack Obama for President for a second and final term and Joe Biden for Vice President.
  • The Republicans led by Mitt Romney for President and Paul Ryan for Vice President
The other Independent parties in the race for the white house were:
  • Libertarian led by Gary Johnson for President and James Grey for Vice President
  • Green led by Jill Stein for President and Cheri Honkala for Vice President
  • Constitution led by Virgil Goode for President and Jim Clymer for Vice President
  • Justice led by Rocky Anderson for President and Luis J. Rodriguez for Vice President
 Other candidates who officialy withdrew from the 2012 elections were:
  • Michele Bachmann
  • Herman Cain
  • Roger Gary
  • Newt Gingrich
  • RJ Harris
  • Jon Huntsman
  • Fred Karger
  • Thad McCotter
  • Tom Miller
  • Tim Pawlenty
  • Rick Perry
  • Carl Person
The Election Procedure
The election of the President and the Vice President of the United States of America is an indirect vote where the citizens cast ballots for a group of members belonging to the U.S.Electoral College; this group of people in turn directly elect the President and the Vice President of the United States of America. The voting for the President and Vice President of the United States of America happen on a quadrennial basis, i.e. every four years, starting with the year 1792. Tuesday, the 6th of November. 2012 is when the elections were held.
The total number of electors is 538, based on the total voting membership of the United State of America, and the number of electors from each state has been defined by the constitution and the state legislature ensures the correct following of the set laws. The electors in question are further broken down to 435 representatives, 100 Senators and 3 electors from the state of Columbia.
The members of the U.S. Electoral College have pledged their votes to a certain contesting candidate and on that the people of the state cast their vote for the member so that his pledged candidate wins. Although by law, no elector is required to honor his pledge but in most of the cases the electors have honored their pledge.
Comparision with the election procedure in India: If we compare this election process to that of India, we see there are a lot of similarities between the procedures. In India we the people are unable to directly vote for the President or Vice President. The members of the upper house and lower houses vote for the President and Vice President directly, while it is us who directly vote for the members of the houses. However there is definitely more transparency involved in the election procedure of the United States of America. However one major difference is that the tenure for the President in India is for five years.
Powers of the President
Judicial Powers: The powers of the President of the United States of America range from converting a bill to a law, to nominating federal judges, members of the United States courts of appeal and the supreme court of the United States, however the latter are all subjected to the senate approval. The President is also as per tradition allowed to grant pardons and reprieves. The state secrets privilege also allows the President to with hold information or documents from being made public in legal proceedings if such documents could harm the national security.
The Legislative Powers: The Legislative powers of the President of the United States of America forbids the President to be a member of the congress simultaneously. The President cannot directly introduce legislative proposals for consideration, however the President can indirectly shape the legislation proposal, and this task is easier if his party has majority in both the houses. The President also has the power to adjourn the congress, if both the houses fail to agree on a particular date.
Conclusion
The powers of the President have been greatly criticized as critics feel that he has been invested with a lot of powers and this is being used as a tool to cover up illegal and embarrassing government actions. However all we need to do now is sit back and see history repeat itself, for the next four years atleast.

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