Canada on Standby as Fears of Post-Election Unrest Heighten in the United States

Upcoming general elections in the United States of America, listed for Tuesday, November 3, are giving a lot of people sleepless nights. With widespread polarization and divisiveness, many voters view the outcome of the elections with “fear and loathing.” This fear is further rooted in President Trump’s unreadiness to publicly consent that he would accept the outcome of the poll and commit to a peaceful transfer of power. 


The looming uncertainty is not only affecting US communities but neighbouring countries like Canada and Mexico as well. If the US descends into chaos after the elections, the influx of people into these neighbouring countries could cause a humanitarian crisis on a scale never witnessed before in the region. (Proud Boys promising unrest)


The fears have been exacerbated by video footage circulating on social media (TikTok) some White Supremacist casts openly threatening that there would be riots in the entire country if “President Trump” does not win. The speaker in the video warns Americans to “stock up and buy guns…” and makes clear they were standing ready and waiting for instructions for the next steps from the President.


Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau (C)


Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau on Thursday, October 8 declared that Canada is on alert. According to the Premier: “What happens in the US is going to impact Canada, but our job is to be ready for all outcomes.” He told reporters that he was very reluctant to comment or weigh in on the American political processes but,  “We’re certainly all hoping for a smooth transition, or a clear result from the election, like other people around the world.”


President Trump in many instances has questioned the potential outcome of the election, sighting massive fraud, especially with mailed-in ballots. According to him, the elections are being rigged already in favour of the democrats and he is not going to accept a rigged election. In the first presidential debate, he publicly declared that the election will not “end well” if he does not win. He also refused to condemn White Supremacists when asked by the moderator to do so, but rather instructed them to “stand down and standby.” 


Google searches for ‘move to Canada,’ ‘how to apply for Canadian citizenship’ are spiking in the US in states like Ohio, Michigan, and Massachusetts. On twitter, some Canadians spew mockeries like, “Sorry, we’ve built a wall on our southern border.” The search skyrocketed during the first presidential debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, described by many as a debacle characterized by more airtime of interruptions, yelling, and blaming each other. 



House Democrats Invoke the 25th Amendment


US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (C) NBC News


In a related development, House Democrats on Friday, October 9 made public legislature creating a panel to gauge a president’s capacity to perform the job and potentially remove the commander-in-chief from office in cases of decided debility.  The legislators say The commission would be permanent and apply to future administrations as well, although it is clear the move is aimed at President Trump. Democrats, atop of whom House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have raised questions about President Trump’s treatment for Coronavirus, alleging the medication administered could be influencing his mental state.


In a statement to Bloomberg Thursday, Speaker Pelosi pushed the concerns further when she said, “The President is, shall we say, in an altered state right now”. The Democrats’ legislation invokes the 25th Amendment, which empowers Congress to create ‘a body’ which, working with the Vice President, can remove a president seen to be “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”.


Defending the move as not mainly targeted at the President, Speaker Pelosi told reporters “This is not about President Trump; he will face the judgment of the voters…But he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents”.