by Daniel Manou, WTOP10-TV
President Trump or President Clinton, words that not just Americans will have to get used to this November.
With election day less than a week away, international students studying this fall in the U.S. have been able to witness this year’s election from the inside. Watching the political debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, students have been able to compare their prior knowledge and opinions to what they have seen firsthand.
Regardless of how far away the states are from their homeland, Lindsey Martin says the results will be felt even after the semester ends.
“As an Australian, I find it really daunting. I feel a bit helpless because I feel like the eventual outcome will affect not only Australia but most of the world because America is a such a super power,” said Martin.
Martin has followed the debates and empathizes with Americans who are frustrated with the current political landscape. Looking at the two candidates Martin said she doesn’t feel confident in either of them but for completely different reasons.
“He [Trump] lacks any kind of depth in his policy statements and any real contentious factual information,” said Martin. “Hillary Clinton might be a seasoned veteran but she is completely uninspiring in my opinion, especially contrasted against Obama.”
For some Americans, frustration has become too much and have decided not to vote. Beliz Atalay actively follows politics in Turkey and she does not understand how Americans can decide not to vote.
“I wouldn’t feel comfortable about it because it’s about my country and even though people may not think one vote will not change anything, it can,” said Atalay.
For Atalay and Martin, voting is mandatory in their country. Australia follows a compulsory vote system which means any resident over the age of 18 is required to register and vote. If someone does not vote and do not have a valid excuse, they can be subjected to a fine and court date, which in some cases has led to jail time.
As the election on November 8 nears, both wish they had a vote but will have to wait to see what the United States Voters decide and how it will affect their countries. Trying to guess what life with either candidate would be like as the next president is something both Martin and Atalay don’t know, but are hoping voters look closely at the policies and personalities before casting their ballot.