The U.S. presidential election season is officially upon us. Donald Trump has won the first two Republican primaries and seems to be coasting to the GOP nomination. That means Trump and Joe Biden are on course for a rematch of the 2020 election.

Does it matter to Canada? I always remember what Pierre Trudeau once told an American audience: “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.” If he was making that statement today, would he still describe the beast as “friendly and even-tempered?”

There is an endless supply of rhetoric and uninformed speculation when people contemplate a second Trump presidency. But what can we learn from history?

This Tuesday, I will be doing a live online interview with David Dyzenhaus, a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Toronto. He was recently named the gold medal winner of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council’s Impact Awards, which celebrate the achievements of Canada's top leaders, thinkers and researchers in the social sciences and humanities.

I would encourage you to join our discussion. Registration is free. You can sign up here or by clicking on the below image that promotes the event. One of the things David and I will discuss is a topic he wrote about this week: can the history of Germany in the years before the Second World War provide insight about the situation in the United States (and other Western democracies) today?

For your weekend reading, I’ve added some other stories from across the global network of The Conversation that analyze the state of democracy around the world. And we’re also highlighting something new for Canadian readers – a weekly news quiz that’s produced by our colleagues at The Conversation U.S. Test your knowledge and challenge your friends and family.

Have a great weekend and we’ll be back in your Inbox on Monday.

Scott White

CEO | Editor-in-Chief

Join our upcoming live event

What can we learn from the history of pre-war Germany to the atmosphere today in the U.S.?

David Dyzenhaus, University of Toronto

Adolf Hitler’s rise to power was aided by courts and lawyers in pre-war Germany. A similar situation exists today in the United States.

Weekend Reads: The state of democracies

UN’s top court orders Israel to ‘prevent genocide’ in Gaza but fails to call for immediate ceasefire

Michelle Farrell, University of Liverpool

The ICJ ruling has called on Israel to ‘prevent’ genocide in Gaza, but has no power to stop the conflict.

Disinformation is often blamed for swaying elections – the research says something else

Magda Osman, Cambridge Judge Business School

Most studies suggests that fake news is more likely to enhance existing beliefs and views rather than radically change voting intentions of those who are undecided.

Donald Trump and the ‘madman theory’ of foreign policy

Natasha Lindstaedt, University of Essex

Trump’s fans think that his unpredictability was an asset in terms of his foreign policy. It wasn’t.

Two charts that reveal a key weakness in Trump’s reelection bid

Paul Whiteley, University of Essex

Trump stormed to victory in New Hampshire’s Republican primary – but his biggest challenge will be winning over independent voters.

Joe Biden could still stand down before the election – here’s how and what would happen next

Thomas Gift, UCL

If Biden decided not to stand again, another Democratic candidate could still be selected until the party’s convention.

Don’t count Biden out: January polls are historically unreliable

Matthew Lebo, Western University

Despite what January polls suggest, in a Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden rematch in November, a result similar to 2020 would be probable: a big Biden vote lead and tight state-by-state battles.

Is Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, a far-right leader? The answer is not simple

Federico Chaves Correa, Université Laval

Some aspects of Argentine President Javier Milei’s programme resemble the far right, but others do not. Without excluding him from this movement, we should recognize there are differences.

The two faces of Jacob Zuma – former South African president campaigns to unseat the ANC he once led. Who supports him and why?

Susan Booysen, University of the Witwatersrand

Jacob Zuma claims that his new political home, the Umkhonto we Sizwe Party, is the authentic ANC, not the one led by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

News Quiz: Test your knowledge

The Conversation weekly news quiz

Fritz Holznagel, The Conversation

Test your knowledge with a weekly quiz drawn from some of our favorite stories.

Weekend Listening: The Conversation Weekly

Why some descendants of Holocaust survivors choose to replicate a loved one’s Auschwitz tattoo – podcast

Gemma Ware, The Conversation; Dale Berning Sawa, The Conversation

Alice Bloch talks about her research with the descendants of Holocaust survivors who have replicated the Auschwitz tattoo. Listen to The Conversation Weekly podcast.