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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Associated Press)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Associated Press)

Politics Briefing

Tonight the United States will elect a new president Add to ...

POLITICS BRIEFING

By Chris Hannay (@channay) and Rob Gilroy (@rgilroy)

Globe Politics is pleased to include a roundup of news and opinion on U.S. politics, through until this year’s election in November. As always, let us know what you think of the newsletter. Sign up here to get it by e-mail each morning.

U.S. ELECTION 2016

> It all comes down to today: After an election campaign that felt like it would never end, we’re finally here: election day. Polls close at different times in different states, starting at 6 p.m. ET in Kentucky and Indiana and 1 a.m. ET in Alaska. Here’s a full rundown. Since most of the really contentious battlegrounds – Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, for example – are in the Eastern time zone, we should have a good sense by around 9 p.m. where the race is headed.

> Two visions of America: The Globe and Mail’s Joanna Slater sets up today’s vote with the two stark visions offered by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. “As millions of Americans head to the polls on Tuesday, the leadership of the world’s most powerful nation hangs in the balance. Mr. Trump has appealed to voters as a brash outsider intent on restoring the past and defeating perceived threats to the country’s safety, identity and economy. Ms. Clinton is the voice of continuity and experience, who aims to keep the country on the course set by President Barack Obama and emphasize its diversity as a strength.”

In photos: Voters show up early to pick America's 45th president

> Five things to know: The Globe’s Adam Radwanski with the five key things you need to know on election day. “Because more electoral-college votes are safely Democratic to begin with, Ms. Clinton has a much easier path to victory than Donald Trump – needing to lock up only a few battleground states, where she is mostly leading or tied in the polls, whereas the Republican nominee needs to almost run the table.”

> The ground game: The Globe’s John Ibbitson says the e-mail controversy that grabbed headlines ultimately won’t have that much effect on the final outcome of the presidential race. Why? Because it’s the ground game that matters. “What we are seeing in these final hours is evidence of the power of the Clinton machine. … What matters today is that the Clinton camp appears to have identified its vote, especially among Latinos, and delivered that vote to advance polls.”

> Ahead of the curve: David Shribman in The Globe (subscribers only) says why wait for Wednesday? He’s already written the pundit talking points that will dominate discussion tomorrow depended on who wins. “But it is clear that the United States has completed a presidential campaign for the ages, challenging all of the norms of American politics even as it remakes political alliances and alters the character of the two major parties.”

> Contover for Clinton: The Globe’s Joanna Slater talks with 99-year-old Sylvia Contover of Chelmsford, Mass. Ms. Contover has just one wish. “When Ms. Contover was born in 1917, women did not have the right to vote in the United States. In January, she will turn 100 and she tells everyone she meets what she would like as a birthday gift: a woman as president.”

> The real voter fraud: David Leonhardt of The New York Times says voter fraud does exist in America: the suppression by state Republicans to prevent heavily Democratic-leaning groups from voting. “Thousands of citizens have needed intervention from federal judges in the last several weeks in order to vote. Even more remarkably, a few million adult Americans will be denied the right to vote this year.”

> The issues election: At Slate, Tommy Craggs says people who complained that the campaign wasn’t about issues are very wrong. It was all about “issues that involve the fundamental arrangements of American life, issues of race and class and gender and sexual violence. These are the things we’ve argued about in the past year and change, sometimes coarsely, sometimes tediously, but very often illuminatingly. This has been, by all but the most fatuous measures, an issue-rich campaign.”

> How to beat Trump: At Politico, Gabriel Debenedetti takes a deep dive into the Clinton campaign, and how the strategy to defeat Donald Trump came together after it appeared he was going to become the GOP nominee. “The Democrat's polling showed that Trump’s appeal was fundamentally different from what she’d been planning for, requiring a large-scale shift in time and resources between the states.”

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW IN OTTAWA

> Canada had a couple of votes of its own yesterday: the Liberals won big in Yukon, meaning the party is in power in eight of the country’s 13 provincial and territorial governments (two of which – Nunavut and the Northwest Territories – don’t allow parties); and, in a slim margin, about half of Prince Edward Island voters say they would prefer to use the mixed-member proportional electoral system. Only 36 per cent of eligible voters actually cast a ballot in the non-binding plebiscite, though.

> Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion blocked the export of military goods to Thailand in August, records show, over human rights concerns – despite earlier in the year approving exports to Saudi Arabia, which has a worse record.

> Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a major spill-response plan in British Columbia, which was met favourably by the Premier and indigenous groups.

> Although both major presidential candidates are against the Trans Pacific Partnership, U.S. ambassador Bruce Heyman says the outgoing administration could try to ratify the trade deal before the new president is sworn in.

> The federal government is going to change permanent residency rules for international students.

> And Norway’s Crown Prince Couple say their country’s startups love Canada. “Canada is a very diverse and interesting society where I think a lot of Norwegian startups find a good fit for starting their business, to growth their business also abroad, beyond Norway,” Crown Prince Haakon told The Globe.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Melissa Williams (The Globe and Mail): “In the context of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Prime Minister Trudeau’s promise to 'reset' Canada’s relationship with indigenous people, no decision about electoral reform should be made without directly addressing the relative voicelessness of indigenous people in our legislative process. And that question cannot be legitimately addressed without a serious engagement with indigenous people.”

André Picard (The Globe and Mail): “One of the unstated assumptions is that a basic-income approach would be revenue-neutral. But that is delusional. If benefit levels are too low – and all the evidence suggests they are – we need to raise them. If the system is too bureaucratic, then we need to make it less so. If too many people are falling through the cracks – such as fiftysomethings who lose their jobs and need a bridge to seniors’ benefits – then we have to patch the cracks. We should not presume that basic income is the way to go without waiting for the evidence.”

Justin Safayeni and Andrea Gonsalves (Globe and Mail): “Part of the problem may lie in the framework governing how these orders [targeting material in the hands of journalists] are made. Police requests are normally heard ex parte – meaning that the police are the only ones appearing before the court, and the target of the order receives no notice of the request. With nobody before the court to represent the interests of the media, it is perhaps little wonder that the chilling effect receives such scant attention.”

Chantal Hébert (Toronto Star): “An American withdrawal from the latest international protocol on global warming would upset the already delicate balance Trudeau has been trying to achieve between his environment and his energy agendas. He believes a more proactive approach to climate change will translate into more public goodwill on pipelines. But the recent federal plan to set a national floor price on carbon was drafted under the assumption that the U.S. would comply with the Paris agreement. Absent an American commitment to reduce greenhouse gas, Canada’s carbon-pricing policy could put its energy industry at a serious competitive disadvantage.”

Stephen Gordon (National Post): “The decision to expand the use of tolled infrastructure and abandon balanced budgets in favour of a stable debt-to-GDP ratio is not entirely indefensible. But the Liberals chose not to defend those positions in the last campaign. The only mention of tolls in the party’s platform was the promise to reverse the Conservative government’s decision to use tolls to finance the new Champlain Bridge in Montreal. The platform also showed a declining debt-to-GDP ratio throughout the Liberals’ first mandate. Nor has the Liberal government seen fit to defend these decisions — or even to make a clear statement to the effect that these decisions have been made. Canadians voted for infrastructure and for deficits, we are told, and there’s no point in quibbling about the details.”

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