The sweeping gains made by Democrats tonight only tell half the story. There were also a number of issues votes that, if nothing else, indicate that the country is feeling more anti-Bush right now than pro-Liberal. For example:
- Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage won approval in South Carolina, Tenessee, Virginia and Wisconsin, with similar amendments on the ballot in 4 other states also expected to pass once the votes are tallied. This would mean that a total of 28 states – more than half – will have banned gay marriage in the U.S., delivering a serious blow to the hopes of people in favour of equality and civil rights.
- Arizona passed measures against illegal immigrants, including making English the state’s official language.
On the other hand:
- Missouri passed a measure to guarantee stem cell research would be permitted.
- South Dakota’s voters rejected an attempt to restrict abortion in the form of proposed legislation.
Some analysts have further noted that, though Democrats made significant gains, they may have done so at the expense of ideology, since many of the newly-elected Democrats are much more moderate than Liberal while many of the defeated Republican incumbents were on their party’s more moderate wing. So the House (and possibly the Senate) may have shifted to the left, but both parties actually shifted to the right in the process.
What will it all mean? Your guess is as good as mine.