BY KEVIN CRAIGENS
ONCE a student of politics, Derek Rae is now willing to teach Scots a little bit about the US Presidential election.
Working as a commentator for ESPN and also for the popular video game FIFA, the Aberdonian has lived in America for almost 30 years, having settled down and married. This year however he found himself in new territory by voting in Tuesday’s Presidential Election.
On becoming a US citizen he said: “Well I first moved here in 1991 and I was a green card holder for my early years here but my wife, Beth, is American. For many years we considered whether I should become a citizen as well as being a UK citizen, so I would be eligible for dual nationality.
“I never really did it and finally at some point it was crazy not to because this is where we are certainly looking to spend the rest of our lives. So it seemed crazy not to take part in the democratic process while you live here.”
For many across the pond here in Britain it appears that this year’s vote has been as divisive for many across the United States. And it certainly has found it’s into the Rae household. Rae mentioned: “I think it has become more divisive over the course of my time being here, it wasn’t as divisive then as it was then as it is now.
“There are certainly splits between families, there is a small split within my extended family, the majority of them are of one disposition and there is one member who is of the other. There are certainly big differences within families and between communities. This area where I live, Massachusetts, is known as one of the more liberal states in the USA. Here it is expected to be around 70% Democrat.
Compared to the United Kingdom the American elections are very much different with different voting systems and ways campaigns are ran. And the Bundesliga commentator spoke about how things are different for him now he votes in the US. Rae said: “You also vote for many different office holders, a lot more than would be the case in the UK.
“If you looked at the ballot it is not just for the candidate to be president it is also for our representative in Congress. It is also for local representatives, state senators, the state of Massachusetts has its own Senate as well. So there are maybe six or seven categories you are voting for and not just for a President.”
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