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Old 01-29-2008, 09:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Well, good luck with it. Is it pretty typical there for people in general (not just kids) to pay little attention to US elections? And are YOU able to vote from out there?

I did read a little by/about Sablan. She sounds maybe more Nader-esque than Obama-esque based on what I read, but I'm sure the reality on the ground is much more complex than I can imagine. What exactly does 'federalization of immigration and labor' consist of? Also, does she encounter much resistance from indigenous rights activists? It sounds sort of like some of her stances might be perceived as threatening to them in some ways. (I do realize that she is Chamorro herself.)
eh, I wouldn't say we pay "little" attention. People are paying attention. . .it's in the papers every day. I'd imagine it's the same level of interest as one would find in say Australia? I dont' know if I can vote from here. I think not because I'm no longer a resident of a U.S. state. I do know that teachers that come out for just one year maintain their state residency and are sent absentee ballots.

The Obama comparison has more to do with her representing change and a new way of governing rather than her stances on particular issues. Supporters of Sablan were excited by the idea of a new, younger generation breaking out of the calcified "old mode" of doing things.

The federalization issue is this in nutshell:

The CNMI negotiated a Covenant with the U.S. back in the 70's I think that made us similar to a territory with some key differences including that the CNMI would manage it's own labor and immigration--it would not be under federal control. Imagine if,say, California had it's own immigration department with seperate immigration policies from the rest of the nation, and set it's own minimum wage. That's the way it's been here in the CNMI for the past 30 years or so. It set up the current rather dysfunctional system we have where we have an overwhelming number of nonresident workers working in low wage jobs. Well now the federal government (because of repeated abuses on our part in managing our own immigration) is taking over.

A lot of longtime nonresident workers (mostly from China and the Philippines) support federalization because the understanding is that they will be given non-immigrant status and be able to get green cards and travel freely in the U.S. Tina supports federalization because she sees it as a healthy solution to the corruption and ineffectiveness of Labor and Immigration run by the CNMI.

That's oversimplifying it vastly, but thats the basic idea.

And yes, it has engendered some very hostile opposition from indigenous islanders. Check out TaoTao Tano, a virulent anti-fed, pro-islander group that hates Tina.
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:17 AM   #17
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Saipan Chooses Obama 29-12!

I should have done some exit polling to see what was on the minds of the voters.

We had our debates Monday afternoon and to be honest I was more impressed with the questions asked by the 5th through 8th graders than I was by any thing the debaters had to say. My middle school kids had some really insightful issue-oriented questions about how Obama and Clinton would pay for their healthcare programs, to what extent they would raise taxes, and what the consequences would be of a withdrawal from Iraq. They deserved better answers than they got.

Overall, I'm a bit disappointed with my students work on this project. I think they could have done so much better and been more involved than they were. Oh well.
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