Previous Conservative prime ministers have worked hard (in the words of Brian Mulroney) to expand the size of the blue tent by appealing well beyond their base. Stephen Harper seems content with keeping the base that is already inside the tent satisfied. This week’s election has taught the Republicans that this strategy has significant risks (Divided States – Nov. 7).
Those outside the tent grow in numbers, organize, get motivated and win elections. One hopes Mr. Harper will take a lesson from this, move his party closer to its progressive roots and engage (rather than discourage) those outside his base.
Eric Acker, Aurora, Ont.
Now that Mitt Romney has lost the election, he should return the moderate policies he borrowed from Barack Obama in the past few weeks in an attempt to stem the inevitable. Also, Bill Clinton will probably be interested in his “binders full of women.”
Suleman Remtulla, Mississauga
For Canadians, there is at least one takeaway from the U.S. election: The composition of the crowd in Chicago waiting for Barack Obama to acknowledge his victory is an argument for our federal Liberal, NDP and Green parties to forge common cause. Many in that American crowd would probably have been members of separate parties in Canada.
The Democrats’ large umbrella kept those people in the fold; it had to have been a crucial factor in eking out such a close win. It is past time for the Liberals, NDP and Greens to hammer out strategies to meld their various parties’ platforms and policies into a cohesive package that would represent the Canada that is (Obama Won Re-election Because He Represents The America That Is – Nov. 7).
Rita Orchard, Burnaby, B.C.
I feel sorry for Mitt Romney, but at least there won’t be a dog out there somewhere that has to worry about being strapped to the top of Air Force One.
Terry Toll, Campbell’s Bay, Que.
The headline for Ken Dryden’s story on the NHL lockout – Money Talks (Sports, Nov. 6) – is wrong. It shouts.
Ken Mark, Toronto
The Globe and Mail’s Roy MacGregor (The Wayne Gretzky Of Hockey Writing – Nov. 7) is someone who is really a part of the Canadian fabric and not just one newspaper. Mr. MacGregor is much deserving of his Hockey Hall of Fame induction, as well as the accolades expressed in John Allemang’s affectionate, playful and elegant profile. May Mr. MacGregor continue to be as prolific as he is engaging.
J. D. M. Stewart, Toronto
What’s disheartening about the Vic Toews-Tom Mulcair exchange on the Ashley Smith affair is Mr. Toews’s failure to stay on topic (Toews’s Suggestion Ashley Smith Was Not A Victim Draws Opposition’s Ire – Nov. 7). Attacking Mr. Mulcair for his alleged lack of interest in victims is a complete avoidance of the issue of Corrections Canada’s vile treatment of Ms. Smith. The Conservatives appear to be working from the following script:
Opposition asks a question.
Response: Stand, button jacket, ignore question, make a speech, attack the questioner.
This is called governing with a majority.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Re Canada, India Need Bollywood-style Relationship, Harper Says (Nov. 7): Although the Bollywood genre is no doubt popular, this is akin to suggesting our relationship with China should be based on wuxia films as exemplified by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, or that our relationship with the U.S. should be based on the Busby Berkeley musicals of the 1930s.
Pragmatism, reality and our country’s legitimate interests might make for a better foundation for relationships with other world powers. If the Prime Minister cannot take the world stage without saying something foolish, perhaps it would be better if he kept silent.
Douglas Bjorkman, Vancouver
Banks, race, gender
Re Women Challenge Central Banking Men’s Club (Nov. 7): The board of the Bank of Canada is not much different than the euro zone experience. Only two of the 15 board members are women. The board fares even worse on reflecting Canada’s mosaic – it has no visible minorities, even though they account for 20 per cent of Canada’s population. The club is even more white than it is male.
Nevertheless, such positions should be filled by merit only, but in a country with such a large visible minority population, are there none qualified for the role?
The board counts four directors (of 12 appointed positions) from the Atlantic provinces, even though that region accounts for only about 7 per cent of Canada’s population.
Kai L. Chan, Dubai
Before or after you?
Every time someone writes to complain about overpopulation and its effect on our planet, I find myself asking: Did the planet become overpopulated before or after he/she was born (Frankensolution – letters, Nov. 5)?
John Overing, Lorraine, Que.
Oh, the irony
My late father, a B.C. commercial salmon fisherman for a good half-century, would be whirling in his urn if he could see what our governments are doing to seriously damage salmon habitat, perhaps irrevocably (Judge Cohen’s Recipe For Change – Nov. 5).
Many early mornings, I’d see the light underneath his bedroom door, with my father on the other side slowly typing missives to various politicians. I must have proofread 200 or more letters of his over the years, just on this topic alone.
I’d tell him that the politicians do not have or will not give their time to personally respond to each concerned writer, that they almost certainly had a template response for every potential issue. Nonetheless, my father typed on about his fish-habitat concerns. Oh, the irony.
Frank G. Sterle, Jr., White Rock, B.C.
Goods to market
As a 42-year-old single woman, I was interested in CNOOC energy researcher Chen Weidong’s statement that, without pipelines to carry bitumen to the Chinese market, Alberta’s oil sands will be in “the same situation as the leftover unmarried women” (In China, Growing Frustration Over ‘Outdated’ Oil Sands – Nov. 7).
Foolishly, I’d been concerned about the oil sands’ impact on our environment. Now, thanks to Mr. Chen’s compelling analogy, I realize the oil sands and unmarried women share the same desperate plight. Perhaps we leftover gals should develop an “Ethical Single Ladies” marketing strategy, in a last-ditch attempt to get our goods to market.
Anne Wittman, Vancouver