OLD What now?

Nov. 4 is the day. After the controversial debates, battled endorsements, tough arguments and crude advertising the battle to become our next president will begin to settle Nov. 4.

Campaigns attempt the most to expose the presidential nominee’s leadership ability and their party’s game plan, but during all this, it feels more like holding your breath until the elections are over.

This feeling doesn’t just befall politicians, diplomats or high-end corporations. With a combination of the economy and the Iraq war the tension has spread widely among people and throughout the globe.

America’s elections are pinching everyone’s nose. Student Karlo Rodriguez, 23, is also looking forward to the end of the elections but is glad his voice has had a weight. “I can make an impact.” He says. “(I) hope to propel someone who is more beneficial.”

Democratic or Republican, the same fate succeeds either candidate.

After the polls close and the votes are tabulated the local and state poll propositions begin to roll in; and it could be a matter of hours before the next President elect and Vice-President elect are known. But it is not until December, when the Electoral College meets, that the president is chosen.

Making it “official” starts with the inauguration of the president on Jan. 20, along with the termination of the current President. The ceremony is convened by the Joint Task Force-Armed Forces Inaugural Committee. At noon the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court swears the new President elect into office whom takes his oath to protect and guide the country.

This happens in front of congress, the senate, diplomats, foreign representatives and dignitaries along with the rest of the world. On that day the President is granted permission to start running the country and tend to his many duties.

For some this is the end of a journey, for many the beginning of one, and yet for others a chance to catch their breath and prepare to challenge the changes and decisions that begin with the new administration.

There’s many other ways to stay active in our government after the elections. Rodriguez, a materials engineering student, does it by sending letters to his representatives and “talking to them” on issues he sees important. He also believes some issues are beyond his control, but agrees “locally we can make a difference.” More importantly, he states, “There’s something we can all do in our every day lives.” Rodriguez hopes to work on creating more efficient solar panels and semi-conductors, which conserve energy and help the environment.

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OLD What now?