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Jesse's Blog 36 - Election2018.11.11


Jesse's Blog 36 - Election

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November 6th was an election day for the United States.  Did you read about it in the news?  It was an important day for American politics, and it will have an effect on other countries around the world.  It may be a little confusing for non-Americans though, so I want to explain a little bit about what happened.
 
This election was not for the president.  The next election for president is in 2020.  This was for congress, which is made of the Senate and the House of Representatives.  Congress is a little like the Japanese Diet.  For a lot of what America does, the president and congress need to agree to take action.
 
In America, there are two main political parties.  There are the Democrats, and the Republicans.  There are actually many more groups as well, but only the Democrats and Republicans are large enough to really win elections.  One of the unique things about America is that these two parties are almost equal.  In other countries, there’s usually one strong party and one weak party, but in America they are so close one with power often changes.  Since making changes in America requires the congress to agree with the president, it’s very important which party has the most people in the congress, and which party the president belongs to.
 
Donald Trump is part of the Republican party.  For his first two years as president, he was very lucky, because the whole congress (both the Senate and the House of Representatives) were controlled by the Republican party as well, so Trump was free to do almost anything he wanted.  However, the election that just happened changed things.  Republicans still have the more people in the Senate, but the House of Representatives is now controlled by the Democrats.  That means Trump still has a lot of power, but it will be much more difficult for him to do whatever he wants, because the House of Representatives will stop him.
 
What does this mean for Japan?  The Democrats are usually more interested in positive foreign relations.  They will likely be against changes that damage the relationship between America and its friends, such as Japan.  Some of Trumps ideas such as “Japan and Korea should pay more for military protection” will be stopped.  Democrats being in power is usually good for foreign countries.  However, if you do business with China, and the Trump trade war with China is causing trouble for your country, this election isn’t going to help you.  Most of America, both Republicans and Democrats, agree that China is a threat, so unfortunately the trade war is likely to continue, and might even get worse.  Sorry!
 
Another interesting result is that for the first time, there are now over 100 women in the U.S. congress.  The future is female.
 
 
 

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