The Point

The Point

The Point

Shaping the Future: A Historic Year for Politics

With a majority of global superpowers hosting elections, experts say that 2024 is a notable year in the 21st century’s shifting geopolitical landscape. Over 150 nations are facing high-level changes, such as Iran, India, Russia and Taiwan. 

Most recently, on January 13, Taiwan held a presidential election amidst tensions with China. William Lai, DPP US-backed candidate won with just over 40% of the vote, over 10% less than his predecessor Tsai Ing-wen.

“It looked a little scary, but China’s looking the other way,” history teacher Louis Harley said about Sino-Taiwanese tensions. “China’s economy isn’t doing so well right now. Their economy is starting to not grow as much as it used to and a war with Taiwan would be too costly for them.” 

Iran’s legislative elections are slated to take place in March. The Iranian parliament is facing potentially monumental changes that could influence ongoing wars in the Middle East. 

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“[T]here’s a chance of some left wing emergence […], mainly because of the women’s movement going on in Iran,” junior Anish Chowdhury said. 

“It’s a really interesting election. But because of the war going on in Gaza, it’s most likely going to be going towards the extreme right, in my opinion.”

If Iran’s legislative elections are more right-wing, women’s rights in Iran will likely be more restricted. 

“It’s looking more and more bleak because of the current government’s hard, hardline stance against this,” Chowdhury said. 

March will also see presidential elections in Russia, with Vladimir Putin as a strong contender. With Putin’s opponents being locked in Siberian gulags and dying in helicopter crashes, it’s likely that Russia will continue heading towards dictatorship. 

“Putin is no longer pretending to have democracy so it’s a pure dictatorship. He’s extended the term for six years and he’s going to run mainly unopposed this year. Anybody that opposes him is in prison,” said Harley.

In April and May, India’s general elections will occur. The two prominent parties, the BJP and INC, are coming to a head on who will retain control. The BJP has ruled for the past decade under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

“India is really heading towards Hindu nationalism and retaliation against the Muslim world,” Chowdhury said. “And now if Modi wins another term, he’ll be one of the longest serving prime ministers in Indian history. It’ll really show that India is moving towards a more nationalistic religious sector.”

As a key year for global elections, 2024 is a year for the books. Global politics may shift towards the extreme right or move towards more liberal policies. 

“I think the elections this year will be a huge test for whether right wing governments can start building momentum in a world that’s moving towards a more progressive direction. It’s looking like a lot of people who are right wing and authoritarian are looking very optimistic about these elections,” Chowdhury said. 

About the Contributor
Sophie Sun, Reporter