After two years of political rancour and social turmoil, the US midterm elections provided an encouraging demonstration of the power of democracy in action. Election day on Tuesday was marked by a high voter turnout, close contests and a shift in the political balance. Despite the acrimonious campaign, all Americans should take satisfaction from an outcome that shows that the country’s system of checks and balances is working. The Congress that has just been elected does more to reflect the country in all its diversity, with a record number of women elected to the House of Representatives. The fact that both major parties have emerged from the midterms with grounds for optimism could also be good news for the US political system. If the US is to avoid a descent into even more bitter partisanship — and even a growth in political violence — it is crucial that voters can see that the political system still offers both sides a fair chance of victory. Draining some of the rancour from th...

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