Understanding Politics

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By: Andrea Deignan
Staff Writer
In the midst of the 2008 election, the nation was bombarded with so many different kinds of media it was difficult to find simple and clear information on the candidates, and the voting process in general. Those who were well versed in politics were sometimes unwilling to help or in some cases dismissive to those who did not know any better. So this year to avoid confusion, here is an overview of some information on the upcoming election.
This election is known as the midterm election, because it occurs two years into the president’s four-year term. November 2nd, citizens in every state will vote for the senators and representatives of their choice. Most states, 34 out 50, will also vote for their governor.
Here in New York, we will vote a new governor into office, as well as elect senators and representatives. Democrat and New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo will run for governor; Republican Carl Paladino is running against him.
Republican and market research consultant Jay Townsend challenges New York State’s current senator, Chuck Schumer. In the House of Representatives race, 37 seats are available. The House of Representatives is based on state population meaning each state is broken down into sections, and within each section there is a choice of a representative to vote for.
One of the major talking points of this election has been the Tea Party Movement. This group organizes national protests against what it perceives to be wasteful government spending, excessive taxes, and the use of big government.
The Tea Party Movement (TPM) was started by conservative republicans, who promote Christian family values, religious morals, and aim to make government less centralized. This movement also stands in opposition of controversial issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
This is only a sample of the pre-election political playing field. To understand the political world you have to break it down in a way that makes it more clear to you. Look at a few different sources of media outlets to get the whole picture. The New York Times politics section may be hard to digest if you have little knowledge of politics, but it does not hurt to try. Search the Internet and find some legitimate news sources, then use your newfound knowledge to understand some of the issues of the election.
It will not take a few minutes to grasp this subject. But if you spend an hour reading about it, you will find that politics are not quite as alien as they once seemed.

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