Canada watches closely as tumultuous U.S. election unfolds

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  • As Philippine Showbiz Today went to press Wednesday (November 4), the outcome of the U.S. presidential election remained uncertain.

    Canadian business leaders and political analysts said in the morning after the November 3 election that the unresolved contest brings political and economic uncertainty for Canada.

    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has said that everyone must wait for the ballots to be counted.

    Not long after that, Republican U.S. President Donald Trump basically declared himself the winner.

    Trump also said he would take his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    “It looks like we may be headed to the dreaded scenario: A close race that ends up in the courts, which gets to choose the winner,” said Fen Hampson, an international affairs expert at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.
    “And it will breed political uncertainty, which isn’t good for Americans or Canadians at a time when our economies are reeling from COVID-19,” Hampson said.

    Canada is preparing for the potential of a disputed election result in the U.S., according to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

    “What happens in the United States is going to be impacting Canada after the election, but our job is to be ready for all outcomes,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. “As a matter of course, I don’t comment or weigh in on American political processes.”

    Asked to clarify what he’s instructed his government to do, Trudeau said: “We’re certainly all hoping for a smooth transition or a clear result from the election, like many people are around the world. If it is less clear, there may be some disruptions and we need to be ready for any outcomes. I think that’s what Canadians would expect of their governments and we’re certainly reflecting on that.”

    Trudeau said Wednesday (November 4) that he is keeping a close eye on the political drama unfolding in the U.S.

    “I want to reassure Canadians that the Canadian government is watching very carefully events unfold in the United States as they go through their electoral processes,” he said at the start of question period in the House of Commons.

    “As always, we will seek to make sure that we are able to defend Canadian interests and Canadians as we move forward, as the Americans make an important decision about the next steps forward.”

    Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said he too was “continuing to watch” the election results.

    Canadian business leaders and political analysts worry about the economic and political uncertainty this drawn-out result will bring to Canada.

    Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, tweeted that this kind of uncertainty is “the last thing the Canadian economy needs.”

    “Hoping the U.S. election results become clear very soon,” he wrote. “While there are big implications regardless of the outcome, weeks of uncertainty sure won’t help.”

    Perrin Beatty, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, agreed uncertainty is not good.

    “From a business perspective, people want to know what to expect for the next four years,” he said. “But we’re simply going to have to wait.”

    The Trump campaign is contesting ballot counting in four battleground states.

    The campaign filed suit in Georgia on Wednesday (November 4) to stop ballot counting.

    Earlier the campaign moved to intervene in Pennsylvania elections, suing to overturn a Supreme Court decision allowing the key battleground state to continue counting mail ballots received after November 3 until November 6, so long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

    The Supreme Court last month ruled 4-4 to keep a lower court decision in place that allows ballots postmarked by Election Day to be counted for another three days despite a Republican request for a stay on that decision.

    Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani stormed to Philadelphia with his legal team, vowing to ensure Democrats do not “steal” the election.

    At Philadelphia polls, Giuliani said poll observers “can be 20 or 30 feet away. Never able to see the ballot itself, never able to see if it was properly postmarked, signed on the outside– all the things that often lead to disqualification of ballots.”

    Earlier, the Trump campaign announced it had filed a lawsuit in Michigan to observe ballot counts and promised to demand a recount in Wisconsin.

    “President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement.

    Trump and top Republicans have raised concerns for months about mail-in ballots and what they allege is the potential for fraud.

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