TRU Americans celebrate Obama victory

'After what the Bush administration did . . . it takes more than just one term to fix that'

Sylvie Paillard / Kamloops Daily News
November 6, 2012 01:00 AM

TRU WolfPack volleyball players Jacob Tricarico, from California, and Hardy Wooldridge, from Seattle, discuss the election Tuesday at the Tournament Capital Centre while standing under one of the TVs with election coverage in the U.S.

Thompson Rivers University's population includes some relieved students as they celebrate the victory of U.S. president Barack Obama.

Most of the 17 American students attending TRU were strong supporters of Obama and even stronger opponents of the other candidate Mitt Romney.

"To be honest, Mitt Romney kind of terrified me," said Chaz Kok, a 23-year-old education student and assistant basketball coach.

First year TRU geography student, Hardy Wooldridge, put it more succinctly.

"I think that Mitt Romney's a slimy guy. He doesn't apologize about his lying," said the 24-year-old Seattle resident.

Kok, who voted via absentee ballot, said his hometown of Lynden, Wash., is very conservative and nearly all his friends and family supported Romney.

But as he heads into his third year in Canada, he said his eyes have been opened to the merits of Obama's health-care program.

"I really like the way Canada's run," he said. "I love the health-care system here. It's unbelievable in comparison."

Especially in light of the $2,500 emergency dental surgery he had to pay for in August while back home.
"That was all my rent money, so now I'm scrambling."

According to Kok's observations, Americans who travel and experience societies and governing systems outside the U.S. tend to favour Obama.

That theory seems to apply to 21-year-old social work student Jake Tricarico, who also voted via absentee ballot.

Tricarico admits that before coming to TRU from California, he knew nothing about Canada or the symbiotic relationship between the two countries.

Now that he's in his second year, he's politically active and pro-Obama.

"Only in the past few years with the economy going the way it was, I thought my voice probably will matter in the end," he said.

He believes that a second term for Obama will allow his administration to produce economic benefits.

"After what the Bush administration did . . . it takes more than just one term to fix that. (Obama) has got this plan, he's been working on it, so it's time to put it into effect."

As for Canadians barraged by TV pundits and political attack ads, Kok had some good news: most Americans aren't really enraged.

"Between my friends and I, we can have a conversation and not hate each other because of who we're voting for," he said.

"Just as I learned here in the education program, talking things out and having a good conversation usually helps with your understanding."

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