Okay, I’m wading into risky territory. They say you don’t talk about politics on a date. Well, this isn’t exactly a date but, it sort of is: I’m always courting my readers.
But how can one not wade into this territory? Is there anything new still to say? Hey, have you noticed; there’s a new twist on this election almost every day?
So why not give my own twist on it? Not that it’ll make the slightest difference.
First, some background for why I would vote the way I would. In recent history, Americans usually give a president two terms. If you win one term, you usually win a second, albeit often with a smaller margin or a weakened mandate. There are some exceptions. Carter was in for only one term, but he is widely considered one of the worst presidents the US has ever had. George Bush Sr. only made one term, too, but that was because of the presence of a strong third candidate, Ross Perot. If not for him, Bush would have won a second term. And his son, George W actually had a stronger mandate in his second term (hey, you couldn’t have gotten a weaker one). Obama’s second term has been really weak because Republicans control both the Congress and the Senate; he simply can’t get much done.
Now, I find both candidates this time so distasteful, and one of them downright scary! My first thought was: “If I were American, I’d spoil my ballot or vote for one of the minor candidates.” But what good would that do?
So, on further reflection, here’s what I’d do. I’d vote in such a way as to make the new president’s mandate as weak as possible. I’d vote for one party’s candidate for president and the other for Congress and Senate. Which way I voted would likely depend on which person was likely to win my Congressional district.
That way, the house and Senate could prevent stupid moves by the president, whomever it is. Just as importantly, the president might be weak enough to be replaced in four years. That would be the best outcome.
Second question: How will the election affect us, specifically, our real estate? Economist seem to think the world economy will react negatively, regardless of whether Clinton or Trump is elected, but more so if Trump is elected. Economic downturns usually mean a slump in real estate prices.
Because it’s certain that one of them will win, you’d think the stock market would already have taken into account at least the less drastic result; i.e., already dropped enough to offset the more conservative prediction. But it has maintained relative stability since its July upswing (surprisingly, the month both candidates were nominated.) And furthermore, the annual pattern usually has October showing greatest stock market declines. Yet this year, of all years, it has maintained stability.
Baffling, to be sure! Does that mean a crash is immanent, waiting until after the election? Why would the market wait to do that when it knows one of two scenarios, both negative (for the market) will prevail? It doesn’t usually wait.
Here’s the only sense I can make of it: The market is so glad to see the end of Obama that it is refusing to act negatively in anticipation of the next president. It thinks Clinton will win, so isn’t adjusting downward. If Trump wins, it will move down some, but not in the extreme. That might have an effect on our prices, but not much.
Some say that if Trump wins, the exodus of Americans fleeing to Canada will push our prices up. That’s laughable. First, emigres from the US would first have to be accepted into our country and that is certainly not our current government’s priority. Second, the kind of people most likely to want to flee a Trump-led US wouldn’t be able, for the most part, to afford our real estate prices, at least not in these parts.
So, I’m not expecting the US election to affect Western Canadian real estate prices much, if at all. Ontarians, on the other hand, might need to be a bit more concerned. Increased US protectionism under a Trump administration could have a significant effect on Canadian manufacturing and lead to unemployment and a drop in prices out there.
At least, that’s how I see it . . . .
I’ll be watching the results tonight.
Oh yes, one other thought: I’m glad I live in Canada.