Canadians Don’t Believe in American Democracy Anymore
A recent poll reports that two-thirds of Canadians say that American democracy cannot survive another four years of Donald Trump in the White House, and about half believed that the U.S. is no longer a democracy anymore but, instead, something worse.
Why do Canadians believe that American democracy is dead? Let’s get into it.
Canadians Believe Americans Can’t Survive Another Four Years of Donald Trump
On January 15, a survey published by the Angus Reid Institute found that 1,510 Canadians agreed with the statement: “U.S. democracy cannot survive another four years of Donald Trump.”
Only 28 percent of Canadians surveyed disagreed with the statement according to a news release (via the Daily Digest). This isn’t the only thing the survey found.
2020 Deja Vu
The U.S. gears up for the 2024 presidential election, which is likely to pit President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, who is the front runner to win the Republican nomination in the presidential primary race, against each other.
Three times as many Canadians (53 percent) believe that Biden’s victory would be better for Canada’s economy, while 18 percent agree that Trump would help, according to a poll done by Reuters.
Other Countries Are Worried About Trump Returning to Office
American allies are watching the election with unease given the isolationism and the protectionist trade policies experienced during Trump’s presidency. However, Canadians are the most worried.
With 40 million people living within 62 miles of the U.S. border, the trade relationship with the neighboring countries is extremely important to the livelihoods of many Canadians.
Canadians Fear America Is Becoming an Authoritarian State
Overall, 49 percent of those in the Angus Reid Institute believed that the U.S. was on its way to becoming an authoritarian state, and 71 percent said that the concept of the rule of law applied to everyone in America was weakening.
There have been incidents over the last several years that have worried Canadians, with the most egregious being the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on Capitol Hill by Trump supporters.
Canadians Are Worried About the Return of Donald Trump
“What we’re seeing is people quite alarmed about the prospect of a return of Donald Trump,” Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, told Reuters’ Steve Scherer. Canadians and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly blamed Trump for inciting the mob’s attack on Jan. 6.
However, Canadians are not the only ones afraid of the direction America is headed.
The Upcoming Election Is Building Fear Across the Nation
In December 2023, 62 percent of adults surveyed by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research said that American democracy could be at risk. The outcome of this weighs heavily on who wins the 2024 presidential election.
Unsurprisingly, both sides–Republicans and Democrats–are concerned about the upcoming elections and what it could mean for Americans.
Both Sides Are Worried About America’s Future
72 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans report that they are worried about the future of America’s democracy. However, each side is worried for different reasons.
“I think from the side of the left, it’s pretty obvious that they’re concerned about electing a president who is avowedly authoritarian,” explained University of Chicago political science professor Michael Albertus.
Why Is the Right Worried?
For the right, the government’s overreach, big government, threats to freedom, and mandates to act in certain ways have many Republicans worried. An August 2023 poll discovered these issues.
“I don’t think he has the same enthusiasm he did in 2016 but I think he has plenty to become the nominee,” Sen. Mitt Romney, who ran for president in 2008 and 2012, said to The Hill.
Americans “Very Worried” About Their Democracy
Most Americans are very worried about their democracy according to a poll from Morning Consult/ Bipartisan Policy Center that was published by The Hill. 48 percent of Americans say they were “very worried,” according to the poll.
Despite this overwhelming fear, voters from the major parties who are worried about American democracy didn’t show confidence in other parties engaging in passing a bipartisan solution.
What Is a Bipartisan Solution?
A bipartisan solution is a political agreement or policy initiative that has the support of members of both major political parties in a two-party system, usually in the context of the United States.
Bipartisanship is an important ideal in democracies, allowing the passage of important legislation, building trust in government, and addressing the nation’s biggest challenges, but Americans feel that this is impossible when protecting American democracy.
What Does It All Mean in the End?
Biden might not be everyone’s first choice, but “[o]ne can make the argument that there’s no country that would be more negatively affected by a Trump win than Canada,” says Kim Nossal, a professor of political studies at Queen’s University in Kingston to the Daily Digest.
Perhaps moving away from a two-party system could rebuild the trust between Americans, other countries, and the U.S. government. Is that possible? Let us know in the comments!