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Far-reaching ripples of votes cast in the U.S.

Staff Reporter
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Analysis:Former Ambassador T.P. Sreenivasan speaks at a panel discussion on the U.S. presidential election at the Asian School of Business in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.
Analysis:Former Ambassador T.P. Sreenivasan speaks at a panel discussion on the U.S. presidential election at the Asian School of Business in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

Television sets tuned to CNN followed the progress of the United States presidential election 2012 at the auditorium of the Asian School of Business, Pallipuram, where the U.S. Consulate from Chennai organised a function on the occasion.

While the commentators’ in-depth analysis of the numbers available seemed to initially indicate a photo finish, the news channel’s final projection that president Barack Obama will regain office for another four years came in abruptly, evoking much cheer.

A sliver of the environment in the U.S. got recreated here, with the entrance to the college building sporting life-size cut-outs of the two candidates. There was also a mock election held for the audience.

Students of ASB also coloured a blank map of the U.S. in red and blue, as the results came in, revealing the win of the parties in each State.

Barely an hour before the actual announcement, representatives of the Consulate counted the votes cast during the morning’s session here which secured president Obama a landslide victory with 99 out of the 127 votes polled.

Close contest

At the same time, news channels reflected a far closer contest that could have swayed either way, but in the end, amid loud applause among the largely Democrat supporters, Obama’s re-election was welcomed.

A panel discussion that followed saw the participation of Vice-Chairman of the Kerala State Higher Education Council and former Ambassador T.P. Sreenivasan; Former Dean of Social Sciences of the University of Kerala, G. Gopakumar; Fulbright scholar at the University, Eric Jepsen; and director of the Asian School of Business S. Rajeev. The panellists spoke of the implications of the results, how it came about, what it implied and how this fared for India-U.S. relations.

“During the second term, president Obama can afford to be more courageous,” said Mr. Sreenivasan, who explained that this apparent lack of accomplishment is rooted in the very nature of the complex American mode of administration that was in-built with checks and balances.

Similar programmes were also held in Chennai, Manipal, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. Information officer from the Consulate, Heera Kamboj; political and economic officer Mathew Beh; and Vice Consul Daniel Lee led the sessions.

US Consulate organises mock poll and panel discussion in capital city as part of US presidential election.


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