8
Nov
2018

Trump Succeeds in US Elections

Trump’s Senate Win Allows Continued Pursuit of Many Objectives

For Republicans the US mid-term elections provide a forecast increase in Senate seats to 52/48 (from 51/49) and a forecast reduction in House seats to 197/235 (from 241/194). All 435 seats in House were up for election but only 35 of the 100 Senate seats were. If the forecast loss by Republicans of 44 seats occurs in the House, that would be the smallest mid-term loss under a post war President except for Reagan’s loss of only 26 seats in 1982 ie a mid-term loss of House seats is “normal”.

The Republican win in the Senate (which one forecast puts at 56/44) should allow Trump to more readily change appointments, to prevent the threatened impeachment and to prevent the passage of leftish legislation by the Democrats. It should also allow Trump to continue to use his executive powers to pursue his more aggressive “foreign policy” than Obama, including in regard to his withdrawal from the Paris accord on the environment. However it will make difficult his proposed domestic “reforms” and make opposition more difficult in regard to proposed Democrat “reforms”, such as in health.

As might be expected, there are many reactions to the elections. But today’s editorial in The Australian seems to summarize it well, viz “While Mr Trump has lost control of the house, Republicans have bolstered their control of the Senate. Judged against the mid-term outcomes for Mr Obama and Mr Clinton, that shows he is travelling much better with voters after his first two years in office than many in the media have been prepared to concede. This is a remarkable achievement given the controversy and upheaval that constantly surrounds him, and the attacks directed at him” (see Oz Says Senate Win Important).

Sheridan actually describes this as a “very good” result for Trump and his drawing of attention to Nancy Pelosi as the leader of the Democrats for the next two years suggests that this party will continue to present its policies with limited effect. Interestingly too is that the important initiative of Trump to adopt a “fair trade” policy with China appears to have attracted little criticism. Reports suggest that this policy was little debated during the elections (see Sheridan on US Elections).

Energy Policy

While much attention has been paid to the US elections, our PM has been touring north Queensland, answering questions about his government’s policies at various functions, and providing differing slants on policies such as foreign aid. This is apparently to include the establishment of a new $2 billion infrastructure “bank” to fund projects in the region. But his justifications for such initiatives remain poor and there is still no major policy announcement. Also, there was a missed opportunity to use the dreadful treatment of a Christian woman in Pakistan to draw attention to the extent of intolerance in some Islamic countries (see Bolt Supports Asylum for Bibi).

The still confused presentation on energy policy continued in an article by Minister Taylor (see Energy Minister “Explains” Policy). In a letter published by The Australian , expert geologist Geoff Derrick points out that the minister “has done nothing to dissuade the public that he remains a shill for the renewable industry” (see OZ Letters 8/11).

Meanwhile, in the US attempts in two states to increase the usage of renewable have been defeated in polls. The opposition by “Arizonans for Affordable Electricity “said Arizonans support solar power and renewable technology, but not at the expense of an affordable, reliable energy supply. Arizonans prefer to choose our own energy future rather than have it dictated to us by out-of-state special interests.” (see Tom Steyers et al). In Washington state voters voted on initiative 1631 to introduce a carbon tax.  It required 50% of voters to approve the ballot, but it failed 55% to 45%.

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