WE go to be tonight not knowing the outcome of the US election, and with the whole electoral process on the brink of a legal meltdown.

With unsubstantiated claims of corruption, it all looks very bad for the US. This country is supposed to be a world leader which likes to tell other countries how to run themselves and introduce democracy. Russia and China have had a field day, mocking the Americans, and pointing out the havoc that democracy causes.

Surely a well managed country should have set consistent and watertight regulations concerning the counting of postal votes long before polling day so that everyone knew the ground rules and legal challenges were not possible.

If the US is to maintain its position on the world’s moral high ground, it has to speedily extricate itself from this mess. It has to be votes that count – the opinions of the people given freely without fear – and not the opinions of lawyers who are expensively paid to selectively argue a point of view.

In short, democracy must triumph, but it has had a bad day.