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Alexander J. Szikla

U.S. Election Predictions

Prince Arthur Herald contributor Alexander J. Szikla projects the results of the upcoming US presidential election.Colorado-9 Electoral Votes:Colorado has been a Republican stronghold until 2008 when President Obama handily defeated John McCain with 54% of the vote. President Obama will carry the state again in 2012.Florida-29 Electoral Votes:Florida is a classic swing state and is often viewed by political analysts as the ultimate swing state.  Polls are locked in Florida and President Obama narrowly won the state in 2008. Moreover, the state’s economy has experienced a sluggish recovery and has been plagued by record high foreclosure rates. The voters will likely seek change. Additionally, south Florida is home to many wealthy, Northern transplants who are likely to support Romney due to a perceived prowess with respect to economic policy and a seemingly firmer foreign policy stance.Iowa-6 Electoral Votes:Typically a blue-state since President Clinton won Iowa in 1992, with the exception of the 2004 Presidential election, President Obama will win Iowa. The Obama campaign has concentrated many of their resources in the state. Moreover, President Obama won Iowa in the 2008 Democratic primaries. The state has a robust grass roots base which the Obama campaign hopes to mobilize and capitalize on.Nevada-6 Electoral Votes:Although Nevada has typically been a swing state, the state is likely to transition into a Democratic stronghold. With a fast growing, affluent population fueled by the rapid growth of Las Vegas and the surrounding suburbs, Nevada will be won by President Obama. Moreover, Nevada likes stability as it has sent its six electoral votes to the incumbent candidate over the past 25 years of Presidential election history.New Hampshire-4 Electoral Votes:With libertarian leanings among the New Hampshire electorate, voters in this state will surely oppose big government policies and countless measures implemented by the Obama administration. New Hampshire is… Read More

I’m voting for Obama and why you should too.

I am a proud American citizen currently living in Montreal and I will be casting my ballot for the first time this upcoming Presidential election. Currently, the state of the union is uncertain; the United States has been embattled with a perpetual state of high unemployment and a sluggish recovery. Typically, history has shown us that the deeper the recession, the more robust the recovery that follows. However, we are currently living in a period that will surely prove to be a historical outlier; or perhaps a trend altering catalyst indicating structural economic change. In either case, the importance of the upcoming election cannot be diminished.Without sparing any niceties, the notion of a Romney-Ryan Presidential administration would be characterized by an outdated and ill-equipped foreign policy perspective to complement a plethora of disastrous domestic policies. At the crux of that disastrous domestic policy lies my main contention with the possibility of a Romney-Ryan Presidential administration, primarily since it would be predicated on an abysmal budget plan.Governor Romney claims that he would not support any tax cuts that would increase the United States’ debt, claiming he would only cut taxes if those cuts would prove to be “budget neutral”. However, it is certain that he would be able to find some supply-side economists that could justify his policy in theoretical terms while the practical application of achieving budget neutrality would be doubtful, to say the least. As a result, spending cuts will naturally need to be made elsewhere to counter-balance any tax cuts; most likely vital social services will be the first to visit the guillotine. Oddly enough, and contrary to sound rationale, some justifications would certainly be found and defense spending would be spared from any fiscal slicing and dicing. To add further insult to injury, Congressman Paul Ryan proposes simplifying… Read More

The guise of tuition hikes

On May 18, 2012 the provincial government of Quebec passed Bill 78. This new law has been widely debated and vehemently criticized under the auspices of civil rights violations. Often, and unjustly, it has been compared to laws instituted by various fascist regimes and dictatorships. Naturally, how could a progressive nation like Canada allow such alleged disregard for civil liberty to take place in Quebec? The answer is not a simple one.Bill 78 was passed in response to student protests and associated student “strikes” over tuition hikes originally amounting to $375 per year over five years. The opponents of these tuition hikes have often painted tuition hikes as actively preventing individuals from attaining post-secondary education or alleging that tuition hikes would reserve university education as an exclusive right for the privileged. Furthermore, they assert that students should not be made to pay for their education while society as a whole enjoys the benefits of a well educated populace.Even with the proposed tuition hikes, universities in Quebec would remain the most affordable in North America. Currently, Quebec has the lowest undergraduate tuition rates in Canada, averaging approximately $2,400 per student. Despite these low fees and the extreme affordability of tuition in the province, university participation in Quebec is a laggard, well below the Canadian average and below seven of the ten provinces according to Statistics Canada. Furthermore, the Canadian government's average expenditure per full-time university student amounts to $13, 481 according to the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. The students of Quebec shoulder roughly 15% of the cost of their education, yet some deem fee increases outrageous.Similarly, opponents of the hikes claim that education is a right, while their detractors claim it is a privilege. Quite frankly, education is an investment. The average person takes loans to purchase a home and… Read More