Big de­ci­sions for Democrats ahead of 2020 elec­tion

Winnipeg Sun - - COMMENT - JIM WAR­REN jwar­ren@post­ @james­b­war­ren

The U.S. midterm elec­tion re­sults this past week are im­por­tant for all Cana­di­ans as the re­sults shift the bal­ance of power in Washington — our largest trad­ing part­ner and the most in­flu­en­tial of our al­lies.

The re­sults also most im­por­tantly set the stage foe the Democrats’ pick as their pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee to run against Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in 2020 — which will ul­ti­mately im­pact and de­cide if the world will have to deal with four more years of a Trump pres­i­dency.

Many pre­dicted a blue wave of Demo­crat wins and a re­pu­di­a­tion of Trump and the Repub­li­can Party that enables him.

Democrats def­i­nitely won the day but it was not the com­plete Tsunami of blue wins the left had hoped to see.

There were in­roads for pro­gres­sive mi­nor­ity can­di­dates.

Trump was po­lit­i­cally wounded — but it was a glanc­ing blow rather than a to­tal knock­out punch.

Democrats fo­cused on the bal­lot is­sue of health care and be­ing el­i­gi­ble for health care even if you have pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions.

Repub­li­cans fo­cused on the bal­lot is­sues of im­mi­gra­tion and fear.

Vot­ers de­cided on these is­sues and the Democrats took con­trol of the House while Repub­li­cans kept con­trol of the Se­nate.

What this means is con­fus­ing to many Cana­di­ans.

The U.S. Congress is the leg­is­la­ture of the U.S. gov­ern­ment. Congress is split into two cham­bers — the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the Se­nate.

Each U.S. state is rep­re­sented in the House in pro­por­tion to its pop­u­la­tion while the Se­nate has two rep­re­sen­ta­tives from each state re­gard­less of pop­u­la­tion size.

What is im­por­tant and im­pacts Trump is that the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion au­tho­rizes the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to im­peach fed­eral of­fi­cials for trea­son, bribery or other high crimes and mis­de­meanours. The Se­nate would then try such im­peach­ment.

De­pend­ing on the events and out­comes of the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Trump and his in­ner cir­cle, the Democrats now have the power and votes to start the im­peach­ment process. They don’t have the power or votes to get a con­vic­tion.

This could lead to stale­mates and other var­i­ous in­de­ci­sions in Washington.

Last week’s re­sults are also the start of a big de­bate for Democrats about who to pick to try and beat Trump.

Do they need to pick an­other old, white male to de­feat Trump or can they win the pres­i­dency with a mi­nor­ity can­di­date that would ex­cite a younger gen­er­a­tion and speak to change.

Re­mem­ber, Trump lost the pop­u­lar vote by the great­est mar­gin in his­tory of any U.S. pres­i­dent.

With the U.S. Elec­toral Col­lege sys­tem, Democrats don’t need the most votes to win — they need Trump vot­ers to switch their votes in 2020 and need to se­lect the can­di­date best suited to ac­com­plish that.

With the past week’s re­sults, there will be a push within the Demo­cratic Party to se­lect some­one like “Un­cle” Joe Bi­den, for­mer vice-pres­i­dent to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and a Sen­a­tor from Delaware. He will be seen as a safe and con­ser­va­tive op­tion for a Demo­cratic ticket.

At the same time, some peo­ple in the Demo­cratic Party will be­lieve the re­sults from last week speak to the need for a fresh new face to run for pres­i­dent and ex­cite a new gen­er­a­tion of vot­ers .

Out­go­ing Colorado Gover­nor John Hick­en­looper is one to watch as he will try and rally the more pro­gres­sive side of the Demo­cratic Party to back his can­di­dacy and at­tack Trump from the left wing of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum.

The U.S. peo­ple gave the Democrats the power to start the im­peach­ment of Trump but they did not give the Democrats a de­ci­sive win to get rid of Trump.

This will start an epic bat­tle within the Demo­cratic Party as one of their own seeks to seize power and de­feat Trump in 2020. War­ren is a Lib­eral po­lit­i­cal strate­gist and me­dia com­men­ta­tor. He worked for for­mer Toronto mayor Mel Last­man and for­mer On­tario premier Dal­ton Mcguinty and is cur­rently a prin­ci­pal at gr­gad­vi­sorsa and CEO of Rise­ley Gaming Inc.

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