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Putting it in context

Queen’s Political Studies profs to host post-election panel at City Hall.

On Nov. 9, the Queen’s Department of Political Studies will host a panel discussion and Q&A to explore the outcome – and potential ramifications – of the 2016 presidential election.

(From top left, clockwise) Queen's political experts Catherine Conaghan, Bruce Berman, Jonathan Rose (moderator), Jessica Merolli and David Haglund will host a panel discussion on the 2016 presidential election.

The panel will consist of four Queen’s political experts – Catherine Conaghan, Jessica Merolli, David Haglund and Bruce Berman – and will be moderated by Jonathan Rose. Each of the panelists brings a different perspective and area of research expertise to the table, which will encourage a well-rounded and thought-provoking discussion of the campaign.

“The fact that one of the candidates is a woman makes this election historic. However, the importance of gender goes beyond the candidates,” says Dr. Merolli. “Racism and sexism have been at the front and centre of this election. At the same time, really deep fault lines in both parties have become more apparent. When we look back, I think we will see that this election was a critical point for not only the Republicans, but also the Democrats, as they try to come to terms with the deep divisions within their party membership.”

Panel moderator and political expert Jonathan Rose says that the historical significance of the election, coupled with a palpable appetite from the Queen’s and Kingston communities for analysis, were motivating factors in hosting the event. He says that, long after the final votes are counted, this election will have an impact on the political landscape.

“This is not the end of the election so much as it is the beginning of a conversation about the next phase,” says Dr. Rose. “There are lots of things that arose during this campaign that have yet to be played out. The next president will nominate a new Supreme Court Justice, which could alter the make-up of the court for years to come. There’s also the issue of the newly-mobilized Alt-Right and what they do after the election – do they throw in their hat and admit defeat, or do they become invigorated through another channel, such as Trump TV?”

The 2016 presidential campaign began in earnest on March 23, 2015, as Republican Ted Cruz became the first major party candidate to declare his candidacy. In the 19 months that followed, voters were thrust into perhaps the most unusual and divisive campaign in modern history. From allegations of impropriety and illegal activity, to an escalated rhetoric that painted wide swaths of the electorate in a negative light, hardly a day went by without a new round of controversies to lead off the evening news.

The event will take place from 7:30-9 pm in Memorial Hall at Kingston City Hall (216 Ontario St). The event is free to attend and is open to all members of the Queen’s and Kingston communities.