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Michael Portillo has issued a damning prediction about the state of democracy, as the US election approaches. The former Conservative MP opened his Times Radio show on Friday by suggesting “the absence of serious presidential candidates in the US saps the morale of democrats everywhere”. He hit out at both Joe Biden and Donald Trump, claiming that neither were worthy of winning the White House.
Joe Biden holds a steady lead in polls ahead of rival Donald Trump with the vote on 3 November.
Mr Portillo said: “The US will soon either elect Donald Trump, a man wholly unworthy of the office, or Joe Biden, whose aged fragility ought to exclude him.
“The loser is democracy. Governments like China’s, who loathe freedom, will snigger and gain advantage from America’s embarrassment and weakness.
“In the modern world, democracy has been but a brief phenomenon so far.”
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The former cabinet minister said: “In 1941, there were 11 democracies in the world, and now there is about 100.
“So, most countries have little experience with democracy and its roots are not deep.
“When the Berlin Wall fell, it was possible to imagine that democracy would gradually sweep across the world, but not now.
“China and Russia actively suppress freedom where they have power, and undermine democracies abroad.
“The Covid pandemic will be cited as evidence, since it has produced much worse medical and economic outcomes in Europe and the US, where governments are less dictatorial.
“Democracy leads politicians to overpromise, bribing the electorate with money that must be paid for by future generations. Another phenemmon made worse by Covid.
“As we have given up our civil liberties with hardly a whimper in the campaign against Covid, those who enjoy the benefits of freedom have shown little concern to protect their privilege.”
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Mr Portillo continued: “The short-term consequences is that Russia can murder its opponents and China can repress with Uighur Muslims and Hong Kong. We shall see how Taiwan fares.
“In the longer term, will democracy crumble? In democracies that continue, will we regain the liberties we are now surrendering?
“The absence of serious presidential candidates in the US saps the morale of democrats everywhere and exhilarates democracy’s enemies.”
Mr Portillo has repeatedly criticised the level of lockdown rules, claiming that due to the “ruin” of the lockdown, it may not have been worth “the lives we may have saved”.
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