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U.S. president-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks in Wilmington, Del., on November 7, 2020, after being declared the winner of the presidential election.


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Re America Is Not A Broken Country, But Its Democracy Is Like A Slow-cooking Frog (Opinion, Nov. 7): I am completely bewildered and stunned that we did not witness a total repudiation of Donald Trump. Am I living in such a bubble to have not seen this coming?

Joe Biden will unfortunately preside over a divided country of people at polar opposites, who live according to very different realities. I hope that civility, dignity and social humanity will soon return for our American neighbours.

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Anne Claveau Toronto

Re A Referendum On The Soul Of America (Editorial, Nov. 4): With a Biden win, no doubt many Americans will give a sigh of relief, as will many people around the world. Many Americans will also claim that their democracy works. Yet there is nothing to prevent such shenanigans from happening again as we saw during this election campaign.

When will Americans muster the courage to scrap or democratize the Electoral College? Can the Senate reflect proportional representation? Will the federal government be able to sit down with individual states and their counties to reform gerrymandering and voter suppression?

Unfortunately, all that seems most unlikely for the near future. I believe the United States still has a long way to go before it can claim again to be a beacon of democracy.

Emile van Nispen Toronto

American hyperbole: “We are the most democratic country in the world.” The recent election has put a lie to that myth.

Amazingly, there is no federal agency that oversees a federal election, such as our Elections Canada. No wonder there is confusion and inconsistency in the electoral process from state to state.

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The Electoral Collage prevents the president from being elected by popular vote. It might have made sense over 240 years ago when only white male landowners were enfranchised. I believe it is unrepresentative and undemocratic today.

Canada’s system may not be perfect, but the rules are uniform across the country, with election results provided on a timely basis. More importantly, the loser is always very Canadian in graciously conceding defeat.

When the American people speak, there are inevitably lawsuits. The United States, it seems, is not the most democratic country in the world, but the most litigious.

Paul Dunn St. Catharines, Ont.

Re Pollsters Face Questions After Many Tallies Misfire – Again (Nov. 6): The strange thing about pollsters happens when they get their predictions really wrong. As a physician, I might find myself before a committee for my misdeeds. Pollsters apparently just get asked for their next predictions.

Peter Richards North Vancouver

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While the pollsters were polling, the talking heads were talking and the pundits were predicting the outcome of the U.S. election, providence had something to say. It is my contention that the single biggest factor in deciding the outcome was COVID-19.

No one could have foreseen that at the beginning of the year.

Ashok Sajnani Toronto

What difference does it make to me, as a citizen, whether or not there are election polls and they are accurate? All that matters to me are the results.

I understand that polls matters to the parties. It probably also matters to columnists who write about them. I do read what they say – it helps to pass the time. But my question stands.

What if there were no polls? How would our lives be affected?

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Dvora Levinson Toronto

Re Two Solitudes (Letters, Nov. 6): A letter-writer puts it down to reality television and social media as the reasons behind the election results. To that I would add more than a few other reasons: systemic underfunding of public education, a voter registration system lacking integrity, gerrymandering of voting districts and, last but not least, systemic racism and misogyny.

Quite a recipe for disaster. Good luck, Almost-President Biden.

Linda Schachter Victoria

Re Is This what Democracy Looks Like? (Nov. 5): The United States was founded as a plutocratic republic designed to benefit wealthy white men. Although it has some features of a democracy, I don’t think it has ever been a good example of one. If the Founding Father could see America today, they would likely be astounded that it has worked as well as it has for over two centuries. Perhaps they would be proud – and somewhat disgusted by Donald Trump.

Randall Dutka Oakville, Ont.

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What has America become? Values that Americans proclaimed and Canadians admired seem to have given way to darker instincts, and allowed so many to overlook the failings of a man that so many others found unworthy to hold the highest office in the land.

A friend of mine recently quipped to his U.S. Sun-Belt neighbours: “There are only two things I now like about your country: several more warm months and cheap booze.” Not so easy to dismiss this as comic relief any more!

Mark Roberts Gananoque, Ont.

Re Donald Trump Is Not Going To Go Quietly (Editorial, Nov. 5): I have been reading Erasmus’s satirical essay Praise of Folly and came to the section on heads of state, where, with extreme seriousness, the great Renaissance humanist writes: “Every eye is trained on him alone, and he can either be a beneficial star, should his character be blameless, and the greatest salvation to mankind, or a fatal comet leaving a trail of disaster in his wake.” Can there be any doubt which description best sums up Donald Trump?

Peter Bly Kingston

Clean money

Re U.S. Formally Withdraws From Paris Climate Accord Amid Election Uncertainty (Nov. 5): It is reported that the United States was expected to contribute US$3-billion to help “vulnerable” countries (whatever that means), but there is no mention of the country’s CO2 emissions reduction of 14 per cent since 2005 (switching from coal to gas), which I understand is considerably more than most countries' reductions.

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The Paris Accord seems to me to be another international group looking for U.S. taxpayer money. How much money has China contributed to help those “vulnerable” countries? Or is China still considered a developing country?

Dave Love Oakville, Ont.

Heads up

Re Man U Legend Charlton Diagnosed With Dementia (Sports, Nov. 2): I remember the first time I saw Bobby Charlton play at Old Trafford in Manchester. It was April 1, 1961. Most memorably, a free kick taken by Mr. Charlton had such velocity that a defender was knocked unconscious by the ball.

In those days, the ball was made of leather with a rubber bladder. On a rainy day (it always seemed to rain in Manchester), the leather absorbed a significant amount of water, which made it all the more dangerous.

That game was played in the time before substitutes were allowed, and the injured player continued on once he recovered consciousness. Sadly, it is not surprising to see the number of players from that era for whom serious health issues have resulted from head trauma.

New substitution rules, changes to the ball and better medical protocols have made tremendous improvements to the health of players. Nevertheless, I would encourage the use of head protection for all young people who choose to head the ball while playing the beautiful game.

Paul Moulton Ridgeway, Ont.

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