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Bernie Sanders blows Hillary Clinton away in New Hampshire primary but who is he and what does he stand for?

Former mayor of Burlington says the American people are fed up with 'politics as normal'

Published 10/02/2016

Bernie Sanders speaks during the primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire.
Self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and political novice Donald Trump won New Hampshire's presidential primaries Tuesday, US media projected, turning the American political establishment on its head early in the long nominations battle.
Bernie Sanders speaks during the primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire. Self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and political novice Donald Trump won New Hampshire's presidential primaries Tuesday, US media projected, turning the American political establishment on its head early in the long nominations battle.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks on stage after declaring victory over Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire Primary. Sanders was projected the winner shortly after the polls closed.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives for her primary night gathering with daughter Chelsea Clinton and husband, former President Bill Clinton. Rival Sen. Bernie Sanders was projected the winner shortly after the polls closed.
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) addresses supporters after winning the New Hampshire Democratic Primary February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the first-in-the-nation primary.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has the full support of his older brother, who lives in Oxford (AP)

Bernie Sanders talks of a revolution. The 74-year-old Vermont senator talks of a new a new politics and a new society. People are sick and tired of the status quo, he insists, and have given notice that they will not tolerate “things as normal”.

The vision that lies at the heart of his campaign - and which secured him a huge win over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire - is of a more just, equitable and inclusive society.

So what, precisely, are his policies?

Jobs and economy

Mr Sanders says he would invest $1 trillion to modernise America’s infrastructure over the next five years. It would be paid for by closing loopholes that allow corporations to avoid paying taxes by, among other things, shifting their profits to the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens. He says the plan would create more than 13m jobs.

He proposes a clean energy workforce and an investment of $5.5bn to create one million jobs for young Americans and provide job training for hundreds of thousands of others.

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One study found average family income would jump by $22,000 per year and unemployment would fall to 3.8 per cent, if his policies were followed. The report, carried out by Gerald Friedman, an economics professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst, found that 26m jobs would be created and poverty would drop to 6 per cent,

Taxation

“My policies will demand that the top one percent and the largest corporations in this country start paying their fair share of taxes,” he said last year. He said as president he would tax Wall St speculators.

Foreign policy

Mr Sanders says he would move the US away from unilateral military action. He wants the US to build a coalition to confront Isis and insists the US must do more to help refugees from places like Syria. “We cannot be the policeman of the world,’ he said in one debate.

Bernie Sanders supporters react to television predictions of Sanders winning the Democratic New Hampshire Primary at the candidate's New Hampshire Primary Night watch party to begin February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire.
Bernie Sanders supporters react to television predictions of Sanders winning the Democratic New Hampshire Primary at the candidate's New Hampshire Primary Night watch party to begin February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire.

Immigration

Mr Sanders would dismantle “inhumane deportation programmes“ and detention centres, pave the way for a legislative roadmap to citizenship for the 11m undocumented immigrants, ensure borders remains secure while respecting local communities.

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Gun control

His policy is to enforce background checks on buyers, close a loopholes that allows undocumented sales of weapons at gun shows and ban semi-automatic weapons. He also says reform of the mental health system is an essential element of improving gun safety.

Environment

Mr Sanders proposes cutting carbon pollution by 80 per cent by enforcing high taxes for polluters, removing subsidies for fossil fuels and investing heavily in clean, renewable energy.

Education

Mr Sanders proposes making tuition free at pubic colleges and universities He wants to lower student loan interest rates and ensure educational equality by proving equal access to resources.

Healthcare

The senator wants to introduce a European-style universal healthcare system. He claims that the US spends more on healthcare than any other nation and yet 29m Americans remain uninsured.

“I believe that health care in this country should be a right of all people, not a privilege,” he has told voters.

Independent News Service

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