The United States House of Representatives is in the blue column, but the Senate remains Republican red.
The Democrats now have control of the House of Representatives after last night’s midterm elections.
University of Saskatchewan political studies Professor Kalowatie Deonandan said that result could mean there is now a check in place for President Donald Trump.
“Previously with the Republicans controlling the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court, there was nobody really to be a check on Trump or demand accountability in any way,” said Deonandan. “That’s probably very good for the Republican Party, but perhaps not so good for democracy in general.”
Deonandan said the U.S. political system is one of checks and balances, and there is now one branch of government that can actually demand accountability.
That could perhaps lead to a toning down of Trump’s rhetoric, said Deonandan, adding that it won’t be as easy for the president to get his legislation through.
“(Trump) may actually have to actually answer to the House, because the House has subpoena powers, and they may subpoena his tax forms, and he may actually have to show that,” said Deonandan. “Not a hundred percent sure how far that will go, but (the House) actually (has) investigative powers.”
Deonandan said the House could also impeach President Trump, but it is unlikely he would leave office as the House impeaches, but the Republican-based Senate would vote.
That would be the same scenario that President Bill Clinton faced in his second term.
Meanwhile, the U.S. midterm election results aren’t likely to have a huge effect on Canada or Saskatchewan, said Deonandan, unless the House decides to vote against the recent free-trade agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
“Access to the U.S. markets for us is very important, and if that agreement is significantly altered to our detriment, then we could face job losses, we could face declining exports,” said Deonandan. “But all of this is a dire scenario, and there is no hint really that things will be significantly altered (in the free trade agreement).”
Deonandan said the election has also been quite diverse in terms of the race, gender, and sexuality of the candidates involved.
“The diversity of new members elected to the House is quite significant,” said Deonandan. “And could, and highly likely that it will, have a significant impact on the types of policies being advocated and promoted in the U.S. and perhaps softening the really harsh tone of U.S. politics recently.”
Deonandan said the push of Democrats for better health care really caught on, and the Republicans then suddenly began to campaign on defending pre-existing conditions after previously lobbying strongly to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
(Photo: The Canadian Press)