The U.S. "Midterm" Elections On November 6th Will Have Major Consequences For Canada
Here are six ways how.
The United States is just one week away from a federal election.
While, unfortunately, Trump is not up for reelection, the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are. Most state offices and legislatures and some governorships are also on the ballot next week.
TL;DR Here are six ways the U.S. election next week will impact Canada and Canadians.
They're called the "midterm elections" because they fall two years into the president's four-year term. The midterm elections are consequently also viewed as a referendum on the president's performance.
Trump has a lot to worry about.
Democrats are poised to shatter Republicans' control of Congress and win a majority in the House of Representatives and perhaps some additional seats in the Senate, if not an outright majority there, as well.
This shift in power will have huge consequences for not only the governance of the United States, but also Canada's relationship to it.
Here are six ways how.
The Trump-Trudeau trade deal may not be ratified
After months of secretive negotiations, pressure tactics, and manipulation, the Trump administration and Trudeau governments finally agreed on a trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the pact that commits the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to free trade policies on the continent.
The new United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is signature Trump. The president's representatives got Canada to agree to ease its dairy supply management and harsher internet copyright laws that will benefit American producers.
Those efforts could be rendered moot by the midterm election, however. Trump will need congressional approval to institute most of the provisions in the USMCA. If the new Congress has even one chamber under the control of the Democrats, such sweeping economic changes will never pass.
There's no telling how the death of the USMCA will affect the Trudeau government politically. Its hours of negotiations with Trump administration officials and several concessions on trade will all be for nothing. Canadians may feel like the government was too willing to sell out its economic interests.
Democrats will be apologetic toward Canada
Democrats are eager to repair relations with Canada. While, with control of only one chamber of Congress, the party will have little power to influence foreign affairs, Democrats will at least rhetorically demonstrate their warm feelings for their northern neighbour.
As a result, discussions of Canada, its economy, and government will likely soften across all levels of American politics. Trump's aides will likely no longer allow him to berate Canada like he once did on Twitter.
The Trump administration may quietly stop calling Canada a "national security threat," for example.
Trump's will lose power and might be impeached
Without a majority in Congress, Republicans will no longer be able act unchecked and pass sweeping legislation that suits their agenda. Democrats will hamper Trump's legislative agenda and have serious leverage in budget negotiations. There will be no border wall and tax cuts for the super wealthy may also be in jeopardy.
More concerning to Trump, though, will be the Democrats' ability to call for investigations with a majority in the House of Represenatives. Every Trump scandal that seemed to pass without consequence will suddenly be laid out for public scrutiny.
With a majority in the House, Democrats may also initiate impeachment procedings, the process by which a president is forced from office. Several prominent members of the party have already called for Trump's impeachment. Others call him an "unindicted coconspirator" in the crimes of his associates.
Naturally, the chaos of investigations and possible impeachment hearings will spill into Canada. Canadian officials will likely respond to unfolding events in the United States. As the U.S. focuses on internal matters, it will also likely turn away from international developments. Canada may have to pick up some slack.
Trump may lash out
Trump does not like losing. In fact, it goes against his entire brand. If Democrats are able to win a majority in at least one cambr of Congress, Trump will feel threatened.
Twitter rants are the least concerning. It would not be below Trump to use the entire state apparatus to bolster his political stance.
Trump could easily concoct an international incident to inflame his base and assuage his ego. There's no telling what his target could be.
That's a dire scenario.
But what is certain is that if Democrats gain control of the House, the next two years of Trump's presidency will not be easy for him.
Expect him to engage more frequently in dangerous fits of rage that could have international consequeneces.
There will be a new push for marijuana legalization across the United States
The legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada has emboldened advocates and progressive politicians in the United States.
Several states, including Colorado, California, and Massachusetts, have already decriminalized the drug despite federal disapproval.
Legalization will likely become a more central plank of the Democratic party, especially as a rebuff of the Trump administration's hardline drug enforcement tactics.
If, as many predict, the Democratic party will also gain control of several state legislatures and governors' offices, more states may legalize cannabis, as well.
It will still be illegal to transport marijuana across international boundaries according to Canadian law. But more relaxed attitudes toward marijuana could (eventually) make things easier for Canadians who have consumed the drug to cross the U.S. border.
Two polar political forces are on the rise
Both fascism/white supremacy and socialism have become more vocal in recent years in the United States. These are fundamentally opposed ideologies.
Socialists advocate for economic and social justice. These ideas have increasingly become mainstream in the Democratic party
Fascism and white supremacy rely upon a false and disgusting narrative of nationalism. While, of course, the Republican party does not explicitly support these claims, under Trump, it has made appeals to such radicals.
While both are small minorities, their rhetoric will likely have a huge impact on political discourse for months, if not years to come in both the United States and Canada.
This may have further consequences in the lead up to the Canadian federal elections in 2019.