Trump supporter Jake Contos chants during a protest against the election results outside the central counting board at the tcf Center in Detroit, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Trump supporter Jake Contos chants during a protest against the election results outside the central counting board at the tcf Center in Detroit, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

EDITORIAL: U.S. election chaos puts democracy in doubt

President Donald Trump looks to overturn the will of the American people

America has long been seen as a beacon for the free world, its pursuit of freedom and liberty a shining light for all to follow. But now that beacon is casting a different light, a warning to the world of the fragile nature of democracy.

With the results of the U.S. presidential election clear to any unbiased observer, the path to a peaceful transition of power seems anything but certain. The fact that President Donald Trump refuses to acknowledge the will of American voters is not surprising, but the number of other Republican political leaders supporting his baseless conspiracy theories and desperate attempts to cling to power put the future of the American experiment in doubt.

President-elect Joe Biden will win a clear victory with 306 Electoral College votes (the same number Donald Trump secured in 2016), while winning the popular vote by more than five million (something Trump was unable to do). In historical terms, this election was not even close. But that reality has not stopped Trump from claiming the election was stolen from him and launching legal action and demanding recounts. Those legal claims have been quickly thrown out of court and it is unlikely for a recount to result in a swing of more than a few hundred votes, let alone the more than 10,000 Trump would need to change in several states.

But the ultimate failure of these efforts do not allay the fears they have given rise to. The sanctity of American elections have forever been tarnished. It is the loss of one more of the democratic norms, further eroding the guardrails that preserve a free society. From the attacks on American allies and praise of dictators, profiting off foreign governments, the purge of military and scientific leaders, the call to jail political opponents and pardon political allies, to the endless stream of lies – all of it was met with a shrug by those in his party for fear of offending the millions who voted for him.

And we in Canada are not immune. As in the U.S., the founders of this country could not envision the election of someone so morally corrupt that they would endanger democracy itself in their efforts to retain power. It is a reminder to us all that democracy cannot be taken for granted.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelly Black, executive director of Point Ellice House Museum and Gardens, is working on years of deferred maintenance around the house and property. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Point Ellice House in Victoria looks to patch up during pandemic

Woodpeckers, leaks and rot keep museum head busy

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

Walkers ascend Mount Douglas Park on Sunday, Feb. 7. Visits to Saanich Parks are up 46 per cent compared to pre-pandemic statistics this time last year. (Darrell Wick Photo)
Oak Bay, Saanich parks peak in popularity during pandemic

Oak Bay spent an extra $5,000 on park toilet paper in 2020

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police say missing man Daniel Fortin, 55, is high-risk. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Daniel Fortin, 55, last seen in Victoria March 1

Anyone who sees Fortin asked to call 911

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read