Associate Professor Michael Ondaatje joins panel of experts

Published: Tuesday 13th September 2016

Associate Professor Michael Ondaatje will join a panel of experts to discuss the US election campaign this Thursday, September 15.

The US Consulate General Sydney is bringing together a group of experts for the US Presidential Masterclass, including academics, journalists and political commentators.

Associate Professor Ondaatje is Head of ACU’s National School of Arts. He is also an expert in American political history, with a particular focus on conservatism, African Americans and foreign policy.

According to Associate Professor Ondaatje the main issues in this US election will be the economy, immigration and terrorism, but the future direction of US foreign policy will also be a hotly contested topic, along with the controversies around health care, guns, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and globalization.

While these subjects will feature prominently in Thursday’s panel discussion, “no doubt even more of the discussion will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the two candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton,” Associate Professor Ondaatje said. “Trump and Clinton are the most unpopular US presidential candidates in modern history.”

While the expert panel members dissect the US election campaign, they will also explore the implications of the election result for Australia.

“This US election will be particularly important for Australia given the growing economic and strategic significance of Asia, and the role the next US president could play in ensuring stability, security and prosperity in the region.”

“Whether it’s Trump or Clinton, managing the relationship with China will be critical, and the ‘trade debate’ will loom large, with a number of consequences for Australia.

“The question Australians need to ask ourselves is: which candidate will be more effective in meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities that present in Asia to promote peace and growth in the years ahead?” Associate Professor Ondaatje said.