A US Election Campaign Like No Other
Prince George, B.C. – This year’s race for the White House has arguably been the most controversial of all US election campaigns and it will be up for discussion later this week at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).
Dr. Paul J Quirk, the Phil Lind Chair in US Politics and Representation at the University of British Columbia, will give a talk as part of UNBC’s Global Fridays Speakers Series entitled: ‘Making America Work Again? The Election, the Presidency and Congress.’
“What my talk will do is talk about the institutional problems of American politics, what the difficulties have been and talk about how it’s affecting the election and what the trends are and end up with some consideration of how the US is likely to do in the future after the election when the next president is inaugurated.”
He admits it’s been an election campaign unlike no other – at least in recent times.
“In the 19th century there used to be duels and people killed each other and accused candidates of being bastard children of some miscreant and so forth so the rhetoric was extremely colourful and harsh way back then,” says Quirk.
“But in the 20th century there’s never been an election where one candidate has been so far, namely Donald Trump, out of the mainstream of politics in his manner of behaving.”
Does he think an election like this could happen in Canada?
“I think the thing to say about that is, if you asked me two years ago whether we’d have an election like that in the US I would say certainly not,” says Quirk.
“So it’s hard to tell; I think observers of American politics have been totally taken aback and shocked by the degree to which a large fraction of the Republican constituency is completely uninterested in the advice of the mainstream of the party’s leadership. So I guess I would say unless I know better why that happened all of a sudden in the US, I would never say it can’t happen in Canada.”
Quirk’s presentation will take place at noon in Room 5-123 at UNBC’s Gathering Place on Friday.