Topic: US Elections 2016

Māori voting in U.S.A Elections disappointed with “crazy” campaign

By Taiha Molyneux

America makes its decision tomorrow and candidates are scrambling to chase votes before election day. Depending on who the winner is, the future for everyone will be very different. 

Among the millions of US citizens are Māori who now call the United States home and as voters they are seriously concerned with the nastiness of this campaign

Ram Todd of Ngāti Kahungunu has lived in Washington DC for over 20 years and operates his own business 'Kiwi Kuisine,' he says, “This is the craziest of all the elections because it’s one way or the other and to me, there’s one ideal person and they’ve both have their downfalls they’re trying to make each other uglier than the other.”

Miriama Patterson  of Ngāpuhi who has also lived in the DC for over 20 years says, “I’ve seen families split down the center I’ve seen friends split down the center I’ve seen to the point where people are saying you know ‘we’re not friends anymore. I’m blocking you from Facebook I’m not going to discuss that with you, I thought you were intelligent, I had a lot of respect for you but I don’t have any respect anymore, and I’m like seriously?"

Alby McIlroy of Tuhoe who initially travelled to the USA over 20 years ago for a rugby career says, “I can’t understand and these are my own thoughts why anybody would be thinking of even nominating Trump”

Māori voters here say the disparaging rhetoric of this election is interfering with the focus on key issues, they’re particularly annoyed with the lack of focus from the duo  leading the race on the challenges the indigenous people of the nation are faced with.

“Not much has been said about the first nations, it’s a shame, it’s a shame because they’ve been here they are the first people here,” says Mcllroy.

“People don’t want to hear about it they want to insulate themselves they want to cut themselves off they want to say, well that has nothing to do with me it’s got nothing to do with what’s going on in my life it’s just a pack of whatever, but it’s not because we’re talking about, not just pipelines we’re talking about water we are talking about the life of the planet,” says Patterson.

When asked who they would vote for - the reply for them was simple;

“Well that’s the beauty of it I can vote and I don’t have to tell you,” says Patterson.

“I can’t go with Republican, for me I have to stick with the Democrats,” says Mcllroy.

The focus of the two leading candidates remains on the swing states and while most national news polls here show Clinton with a slight lead, Trump is still in it with millions of supporters.

Tomorrow the world will find out who comes out on top.