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Opinion

Life to return to normal after campaign season

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November 1, 2012

While the election is a crucial event for the entire country, it is also a joyful time for everyone. The annoying political attack ads will be gone, and yards will not be littered with obnoxious signs telling you how you must vote.

Debates will no longer be on television, which can be a good thing, because the amount of times they go off topic is about how often I blink. In a way Election Day is a breath of fresh air, knowing that life will go back to the normal, less fashion in only a few short days.

Elections actually began as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. Some of the first elections throughout the medieval period were to elect the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope.

Around 920 A.D., Tamil Nadu, India, used a fairly interesting way to run elections and elect members for the village assembly. They used palm leaves, which had the names of the candidates on them. The leaves were put into a mud pot to be counted. They referred to this system as the “Kudavolai” system.

Ancient Arabs also used similar methods to conduct their elections and elect their caliph. What we know as the typical modern day election did not emerge until the 17th Century. That was when areas of North American and Europe adopted the idea of “representative government.”

When modern day elections first took place, many people were mainly concerned with the issue of suffrage or equal rights. This remained a major issue throughout the history of elections. The most common type of suffrage fought for in many countries concerned minority groups.

In North American and Europe, men were the dominant culture group when it came to any election. Many countries today still recognize men as the dominant group during an election.

With the exception of Switzerland, all western European countries and North American countries recognized universal male suffrage by 1920. However, it was then that they also considered women’s suffrage.

That was the year that women gained more rights, starting with the right to vote in the United States. Suffrage is still an issue in many countries, as people try to make it legal for people to vote, such as convicted felons, foreigners or economically disadvantaged individuals. Suffrage only applies to a specific country.

An issue regarding right now, especially for Minnesota residents, is the amendment on gay marriage. The ballot asks whether marriage should be between a man and a woman. To vote “yes” means one is against gay marriage and to vote “no” means one is for gay marriage.

The entirety of Canada recognizes gay marriage as legal, while only a few states in the United States recognize it as legal. Whether you are for or against it, it is still important to do your research to find out the pros and cons of both sides.

The same can be said for both President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney.

Sure, your parents have opinions that have for years been forced down your throat. But that does not mean they are not biased.

Doing research on each of the candidates is essential in finding out which one can best lead our country. Biased opinions, made up facts and attack ads are everywhere, but doing enough research can really say a lot about each candidate’s ideas and plans.

Cristin Dempsey is an English major and music minor from Eagan, Minn. She enjoys writing, playing the flute and swimming. After college she would like to pursue a career as an editor.