Guarini Institute for Public Affairs Hosts Panel Discussion on Obama's Second Midterm

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President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

On Monday, October 20th 2014, the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs hosted a conference regarding Obama’s second midterm. JCU President Franco Pavoncello opened the discussion through a brief description of the technical procedure of Midterm elections in the United States. Pavoncello further explained Obama’s first Midterm test in 2010, stressing how it is difficult to accurately assess the results, as these elections are not national.

The event panel was composed of Guarini Institute Advisers Lucio Martino and John Fanti, Prof. Lawrence Gray, as well as moderator Helen Viola.

Lucio Martino explained which states will participate in the vote, and underlined the risks that both the Republican and Democratic parties face. Moreover, Martino compared the general elections in 2004 with those in 2008, indicating the states that had converted political color, as well as those that had always been Republican, such as Texas, or Democratic, like California. Martino furthermore elaborated on the political situation and internal mechanisms in both the U.S Senate and in the House of Congress from 1994 to 2012.

John Fanti briefly explained that this Midterm election focuses on local issues in many Midwestern states, and that whatever the outcome, little will change on the national level.

Watch John Fanti interviewed by Sky TG24 on US Midterm Elections 2014.

Professor Gray highlighted the current low percentage of people who vote. Gray stressed that the real problem of this Midterm is the lack of choice, which stems from the ongoing absence of dialogue between the two parties that in turn creates a deep political paralysis.
The discussion then focused on a historical and political comparison, from American Independence to today: in the XVIII century both parties had a constructive political dialogue, and this lack of confrontation today has greatly transformed U.S. politics. Gray suggested two solutions for unblocking the paralysis: bipartisanship and an update process of the American Constitution.

Director of the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs, Professor Federigo Argentieri, concluded the conference by presenting a Tom Toles’ cartoon regarding Obama’s second Midterm elections.

Learn more about the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs at John Cabot University