Politics in 2011

By Teddi Faller, Staff Writer

2011 left quite an impression on us, but especially in politics.

On Dec. 17, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died of a heart attack on “his train” – this is still up for dispute by the South Koreans. The people of North Korea seemed heartbroken about the death, while South Korea went on high alert. While country leaders have sent their condolences for the death of the leader, there is also an underlying fear that his death – and his successor Kim Jong-un – will lead to instability in North Korea, which could affect South Korea.

On Dec. 24, the people of Russia held a huge rally against Vladimir Putin and his party, United Russia, for election corruption. They rallied in Moscow with the main concern that the Dec. 4 election was rigged by United Russia. The protesters called for a new group to monitor elections called the “Moscow Voters’ Association”. Putin and his party denies any rigging, but the results of the re-election, while it does show United Russia won, the margin was much smaller than aforementioned in the first election.

Here in the United States, 2011 brought us into the new year with the Iowa caucus for the GOP presidential candidate race. The last month of 2011 had all the GOP candidates ramping up for their first caucus in Iowa. The results of the caucus on Jan. 3 showed that Mitt Romney took first beating Rick Santorum by eight votes. Ron Paul came in third. Romney was predicted to win; however, Santorum was a bit of an upset and wasn’t predicted to do as well. Republican Senator John McCain gave his support to Romney most likely because of the results of the caucus.

The end of 2011 leads into how politics will play out in 2012, North Korea with new leadership, Russia facing political reform and the United States heading into a presidential election without a clear winner.