A Collective Sigh Of Relief
US Elections are finally wrapping up, with Joe Biden being declared as the next President of the United States. Phew!!😅 That was intense! For such a clear distinction between the two candidates, it was painfully close. At least at first. What with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots this time round, it was generally expected that results would not be clearly determined on November 3rd. Still, what a suspenseful drama!
For a country that prides itself in its democracy, it has certainly made it difficult. There are so many hoops to jump through simply to execute this basic right of citizenship. To top it off, there was a concerted effort on behalf of Republican officials to actively suppress Democratic votes. This included closing thousands of polling stations, disrupting the postal service, and contesting or delaying mail-in ballot counting. As a result, we all knew it was going to be close. Political commentators warned us well enough.
They explained that Republican voters would likely vote in person on the 3rd, but as votes were counted, observers would see the “red mirage” make way for a “blue shift.” Wow indeed. This enormously expensive and protracted process is evidently not the optimal means of selecting government leaders and representatives. The United States can definitely do better.
A Democratic Victory
As of Saturday, November 8th, Joe Biden has been called the winner of the electoral college majority needed to secure the presidency. It was already clear early on in the election that Biden had won the popular vote (by over 5 million votes and counting). Unfortunately, winning the popular vote in the US isn’t enough to get you the top job. Instead, they’ve opted for a different system.
Namely the electoral college. It being what it is, Biden also had to ensure a majority in critical swing states. He needed to achieve & surpass that pivotal number of 270 majority votes in order to be declared victor. It was a tense experience. For everyone in the US and around the world, it meant 3-4 days of anxiety. Thankfully, we can now hope that the worst has passed.
Why The Election Matters
This was a definite win for science, rights activists, and the climate movement at large. It seems almost surreal that so much could hinge on one election. And one that so many would be impacted by, regardless of whether or not they’re US citizens. Indeed, so many decisions made by the US Executive have far-reaching consequences around the world.
For anyone deeply concerned about sustainability, we needed this! Joe Biden may not have been the choice of progressives, but when it came down to it, there really wasn’t much of an option. At least Joe Biden has stated that he will recommit the US to the Paris Climate Agreement, signalling to the country and beyond, that he will tackle the climate crisis.
At this point, we can hope that Biden will genuinely attempt to face the climate emergency. Climate activists and the millions who voted for him will certainly attempt to hold him to account. But for now, we can all enjoy this very real victory.💪