International students weigh in on presidential elections

Students studying abroad at Cal State Long Beach this semester are getting a crash course in the presidential election process, whether they like or not.

Even without television access, many international students say they can’t escape the endless barrage of political ads and debates. To many, the constant coverage appears to be more for its entertainment value than for its insight.

Oliver Davies, a junior international business major from England, said the whole campaigning process is more of a joke than anything else.

“The American elections are really quite funny,” Davies said. “I only saw the third debate, but it was like watching kids squabbling in the school yard. I don’t think either candidate really mentioned any concrete policy.”

Viktoria Firtser, a junior English major from Germany, said that it was strange how much of the campaigning seemed to revolve around who could afford to buy a better image.

“Here it seems like the whole campaign is about who has more money,” Firtser said. “In Germany, if someone gave money to a political figure I think it would be a big deal.”

Firtser also said how odd it is that such a large nation would only have two main parties to represent such a diverse population.

“[Germany has] six or seven main parties, and it is mainly all about who supports what,” Firtser said. “Here, it is much more exciting though. They spend all their time insulting each other.”

Despite the confusion over who stands for what, many international students favor President Obama over Mitt Romney. Shizali Cabari, a junior international business and finance major from England, said she had noticed widespread support of Obama.

“I have heard a lot of people make jokes about moving to Canada if Romney wins,” Cabari said.

Paolo Fantini, a senior business major from Brazil, said she thought it would be better for everyone if Obama won.

Davies, however, begrudgingly admitted that he favors Obama.

“I guess I’d vote for Obama if I absolutely had to,” Davies said. “He seems to have done fairly well. Romney is just a businessman.”

Firtser said that she thinks a lot of Obama’s international support comes from the criticism of the Bush administration.

“When Bush was in office, Germany had a pretty negative attitude towards the U.S. government,” Firtser said. “Obama changed that. I think that there is a lot of fear that Romney would be a step back.”

Other students openly dismissed both candidates and said that it is a shame there are not other options.

“I don’t like either of them; two candidates isn’t much of a choice,” Laura Nunez, a senior film and journalism double major from Spain, said. “I prefer the Democratic side, but Obama promised a lot of things that he hasn’t delivered on.”

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