World goes mad for crazy presidential candidates

Most of the world has learned about Donald Trump, the multibillionaire who has become the laughingstock of the 2016 United States presidential elections.

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Donald Trump is currently the Republican Candidate for the 2016 United States Presidential Elections (Photo credits: Wikimedia)

From openly attacking Muslims as a campaign strategy to threatening to build a wall along the Mexican-American border, Trump has sent shockwaves across the world – proving to the world just how ignorant you can be while running to be the leader of the “free world.”

However, Trump is not the only somewhat insane presidential candidate on the 2016 political scene.

While the United States has their ongoing presidential elections that will end in November, the Philippines had their presidential elections on Monday, May 9. Though most of the political candidates represented the hopes and dreams of the elites of the country, there was one man that stood out – his name is Rodrigo Duterte.

Known as the “Trump of the East,” Duterte has recently made headlines for using “unconventional” methods to gain the majority of the Philippine’s votes.

But just how “unconventional” is he?

He has publicly joked about sexual exploits with several mistresses, talked about his rape fantasies, confessed to killing three people – those are just three of the many inappropriate statements he has said to the Philippine voters.

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Rodrigo Dutere is currently the presumtive winner for the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections (Photo credits: Wikimedia)

And the crowd in this religiously conservative country went wild.  (Please note: the things that both Trump and Duterte say are not jokes.)

John Oliver did a four minute segment on Duterte in his show “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” where he referred to Duterte getting elected as “terrifying for the Philippines.”

And in a segment he did on Donald Trump, he referred to him as “America’s back mole” explaining that “it may have seemed harmless a year ago, but now that it’s gotten frighteningly bigger, it is no longer wise to ignore it.”

Though masked with humor, Oliver is right: both Duterte and Trump have gotten alarmingly popular.

At times, Duterte has attempted to test the limits of basic decency – which is something that Donald Trump has also tried to do, but on a somewhat smaller level.

Though the United States and the Philippines are holding their presidential elections this year, there is another country that just finished their second round of presidential elections: Austria.

Though Austria eventually went on to elect Alexander Van Der Bellen, it was one of the closest elections in Austrian history, with the other candidate being Norbert Hoffer, a far-right candidate who is known to the people as a somewhat untraditional candidate.

Hofer, who got 49.7% of the votes in the second round of elections and won the majority 35.1% of the votes in the first round of elections, is a member of the Freedom Party, which is a group founded in the 1950s by former Nazis.

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Norbert Hofer was the winner of the first round of the 2016 Austrian presidential elections, but lost the final round to Alexander Van Der Bellen (Photo credits: Wikimedia)

It is obvious to say that Hofer gained massive popularity among the people of Austria.  And he has also been referred to as “the Austrian version of Trump.”

Hofer has publicly admitted that he carries a gun with him so he could “protect himself from refugees.” In addition, some of Hofer’s proposals have been to build a fence along Austria’s southern border to keep refugees out and deporting refugees who have had their asylum claim rejected.

Hofer has also said he wanted to “stop the invasion of Muslims” – which is something that Donald Trump has said countless of times.

Though Hofer seems more “put together” and “professional” than Trump and Duterte, one thing is for sure: the citizens of these countries are disappointed with their current governments.

Austria’s Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache said, “This is the beginning of a new political era. One thing has become clear here: Massive dissatisfaction with the government.”

And Strache is not the only person who believes this. In a poll done by CNN, 75% of the Americans surveyed said that they were unhappy with their current government.

And in a survey done among Trump supporters, 97% of the supporters said that they were dissatisfied, and 91% of them said that they were even somewhat angry.

In the Philippines, analysts have noted that many of the Filipino voters have become dissatisfied with their government, according to the New York Times, and the citizens believe that their government has been ineffective with matters directly affecting the lives of the larger low income population.

This dissatisfaction in all three countries (the Philippines, Austria, and the United States) has helped fuel the campaigns of Duterte, Hofer, and Trump.

Fortunately, the Austrian people decided to elect Alexander Van Der Bellen. Unfortunately, Duterte won the Philippine elections by a landslide – so there is not anything that can really be done about Duterte.

However, the United States still has a choice. Since Donald Trump has become the Republican candidate for this year’s elections, there could be two possible outcomes: he could lose, or he could win.

It is up to the people. 

Author: Stephanie Palanca

Stephanie Palanca is a senior and a second year reporter for The Eye. She has lived in Singapore since fourth grade, though she is originally from Manila, Philippines. When she is not doing anything related to school, she likes to try eggs benedicts from different brunch places around Singapore, photograph the world around her, binge watch Grey’s Anatomy, and play tennis. She can be contacted at palanca30087@sas.edu.sg.

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