Aussie expats in USA bemused by election process

Published:  16 Mar at 6 PM
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As America ramps up to yet another Presidential election, Australian expats are astonished at both the length of the campaign and the behaviour of would–be Republican candidate Donald Trump.

One Melbourne software engineer now living in California with his wife and daughter is becoming obsessed with the endless coverage of the primaries and scared stiff at the prospect of Donald Trump heading up the world’s largest economy. He admits to being passionate about the outcome, and is following the entire news cycle as it unfolds. He’s also amazed at the perceived apathy of many US citizens, and is surprised that voting isn’t compulsory as it is in his home country.

Another Aussie expat in California, Josh Anderson, is worried about the final result of the election. His wife will have their second child around the time of the California primary in June, with the baby gaining automatic US citizenship. Josh is scared that if Trump is elected, there will be drastic changes which may force the family to return to Australia.

New York-based Ed Coper followed the last election and is less than impressed with the sensationalist hype and inflammatory statements commonplace in the 2016 version. Americans, he thinks, are feeling far less secure than when Obama was elected as they believe the economy is not doing well. He rates general insecurity as the main reason for the extremism surfacing on both sides, and compares it with the laid-back, money-oriented, socially liberal vibe in New York.

A couple from Melbourne, now living in Texas’s major city of Houston, can’t quite grasp the extended length of time the electoral system takes to nominate a presidential candidate. Elections in Australia are over within six weeks, and the vote always takes place on a Saturday, thus giving citizens the best chance to get to the polls. An election in which voters are forced to find time on a Tuesday doesn’t make a great deal of sense to this pair of expats, but they’re looking forward to their friend’s full media coverage election party the same day.
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