It’s Sunday and we’re halfway through February; let’s take a look back on this week’s most important political events. One can safely say that a lot has happened in these past 168 hours, both domestically and internationally.
On Wednesday, the House agreed to raise the debt ceiling. The U.S. government can now borrow more money, and Congress did not have to quarrel over spending cuts. This is very good news if we look back at what happened just a few months ago when the entire federal government shutdown after beltway politicians couldn’t compromise. What does that mean about the dynamics within Congress? Looking forward, what’s the next move for the Tea Party? We will have to wait and see.
A big change, when it comes to civil law, also happened this week in Virginia: on Thursday a federal judge declared that Virginia’s ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional. The pace of change for proponents of gay marriage has been dizzying. However, the same-sex marriage amendment to the Indiana Constitution was disqualified by the state Senate on the same day.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Switzerland made a step of great significance when it comes to free labour movement on the European continent. Switzerland voted to impose quotas on workers immigrating into Switzerland from the European Union. Immigration is a hot topic all across the EU and especially in Brussels. Citizens of many European countries, just like the citizens of Switzerland who are not in the European Union, are frustrated and feel threatened by huge waves of immigrants coming from different southeastern countries, such as Romania. The question is: will this bold move of the Swiss start a chain reaction in the EU?
Thursday was also marked by the resignation of Enrico Letta, the Italian prime minister. Young and rich with connections, Letta was thought by some to be a hope that would restore more order to Italian politics. He was, however, very inefficient. For the past few months, politics in Italy dragged motionlessly as none of the parties won a majority in the 2013 elections and a strong government could not be formed. Letta decided to abandon his position as some members of the Parliament called for a change of government.
When it comes to international indirect politics, the U.S. has been winning more medals at the Olympics. For the moment, the US delegation is the third most decorated in Sochi. American athletes won five medals for freestyle skiing, four for their accomplishments on snowboards and one each in figure skating, alpine skiing, skeleton, and luge! Get pumped up for curling qualifications on Monday!
On another note: House of Cards Season 2 is now on Netflix! Politickers, try not spend all of next week watching it.