The US general election race will be one of the highlights of 2024 – but there are a number of other elections worthy of our attention, including: in Russia, Israel and Taiwan.
Events in Argentina, where the new president won the election by promising radical changes, will also be important. History suggests that when outsiders become insiders, reality often softens their ways. However, Trump has proven that the opposite is true.
“Trump is weird and fiercely partisan.”
What makes the US election so special is that the differences between the major party candidates far outweigh their similarities. Assuming President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump win their parties' nominations, who wins will matter enormously, both to the United States and the world.
Of course, there are some similarities between Biden and Trump. None of them believe in free trade, although Trump, unlike Biden, is an outright protectionist. They both support a greater role for the government in the economy. They both wanted to get out of Afghanistan. They also agree on the need to take a tough stance on China, especially when it comes to trade and investment in critical technologies.
However, the differences are much greater. Biden is a professional politician who believes in democracy, accepts its norms, and is willing to work across party lines to reach compromises that will benefit the country. Trump is an outsider, a fierce partisan who rejects political norms (such as accepting electoral defeat), and often places himself above democratic principles.
Biden's foreign policy approach focuses on America's allies, which he sees as a great source of comparative advantage for the United States. Trump believes that allies are closer to economic competitors who are draining the American treasury.
“This fall, Americans will vote for more than just president.”
Biden focuses on the competition between democracies and autocracies, and says the United States should help democratic friends around the world. Trump, on the other hand, gets along better with autocrats and seems to envy their control of political systems. The list of issues on which the two differ significantly is long and includes climate change, immigration policy and access to abortion.
As of this writing, Trump is viewed as the preferred candidate. His policies and personality are better suited to the current populist era. Biden, in turn, is seen as an aging politician losing popularity due to inflation and the influx of immigrants. The biggest question hanging over Trump is the extent to which his legal problems will translate into political problems.
If Trump wins, the Democratic-controlled House may be the most significant constraint on his power at the federal level. If Biden wins, a Republican-controlled Senate could make governing very difficult.
China may increase pressure on Taiwan
Outside the United States, there will be dozens of elections around the world in 2024
The first events that will be important for the fate of the world will occur in mid-January in Taiwan. Opinion polls show a close race. The presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, William Lai, has a slight lead over the other candidates.
Two months later, presidential elections will also be held in Russia. There is no easier prediction than Vladimir Putin winning another term.
“Putin is waiting to see if Trump will win.”
Another easy prediction is that after voters go to the polls in June, a woman will serve as Mexico's next president. The two main candidates are women, have leftist views and are likely to continue many of the policies of outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Next year will also be largely defined by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which is unlikely to end within the next 12 months.
A settlement in Odessa after massive Russian missile launches and a drone attack
Neither side can impose its will on the battlefield, and neither side is willing to negotiate.
Ukraine is not prepared to accept anything less than the full restoration of the 1991 borders. However, it may be forced to adopt a more defensive strategy as Western military support declines. Putin seems convinced that time will weaken the resolve of Ukraine's supporters in the West.
Putin is waiting to see if Trump will win. It is expected, and not without reason, that US military and economic aid to Ukraine in the event of a change of president will decline sharply, if not stop completely.
He added, “Any diplomatic prospects could be jeopardized by expanding the scope of the war to Lebanon or even Iran.”
There is also the war between Israel and Hamas, which has been going on for three months. At some point, the intensity of the war will subside somewhat and give way to the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip.
What happens in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank will be largely determined by Israeli elections, which will almost certainly be held in 2024. If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government remain in power, the prospects for diplomacy will be bleak.
Electing a more centrist government would create opportunities through which peace could be negotiated between the United States and Washington's partners among the Arab countries. However, any diplomatic prospects may be jeopardized The war extends to LebanonAnd even Iran.
When it comes to China and US-China relations, 2024 is unlikely to bring dramatic changes. Chinese officials are largely focused on the economy and are not seeking a confrontation with the United States that could lead to greater export controls and investment restrictions.
Like Moscow, Beijing will focus on American policy, but with the difference that many people in China are not convinced that a Trump victory would be in China's interest.
It will also be an important event Annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP29) which will be held in November in Azerbaijan. But this meeting will likely not produce results that will stop the climate crisis.
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