Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

AdChoices
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

What readers think

April 19: Grading the Prime Minister, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

...............................................................................................................................

An F for Trudeau

I think that John Ibbitson’s report card of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government misses the point (Trudeau’s Liberals: A Midterm Report Card, April 18).

Voters know that most of the important future issues aren’t even on the agenda during an election campaign. Consequently, I think, they make their ballot decision primarily on the style and priorities that the various parties bring to the campaign. The voters want to know how they will approach the challenges of the coming term. Mr. Trudeau presented a vision of a post-Harper government that would be transparent and honest, restore the primacy of Parliament and reduce the autocratic role of the the Prime Minister’s Office.

So, the question of the government’s performance isn’t primarily about how many Syrian refugees came to Canada, the level of the deficit or electoral reform.

It’s about sleazy fundraising practices, reducing the autonomy of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, delaying significant reform of the freedom of information process, reducing the scope of the Ethics Officer, minimizing review of the proposed infrastructure bank by wrapping it inside the budget bill, wanting to reduce the time the Prime Minister has to face the House in Question Period, and changing House procedures to make it more difficult for opposition parties to challenge majority governments.

So, this life-long Liberal voter disagrees with Mr. Ibbitson. The current government gets an F.

Marc Grushcow, Toronto

..........................................

Secularism rejected

There is no question that “fears, nationalism and ignorance” played a significant role in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s victory in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, as your editorial notes (Erdogan, And The End Of Democracy, April 18). The same three factors probably played a role in the widespread English support for Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the United States.

But it is misleading to think that the voters have been fooled. What we need to ask is: What do they think they were actually voting for? Your editorial places the emphasis on democratic institutions, but the Islamic AKP voter in Turkey is far more concerned about bringing Islam back into the centre of public life. Look at the choreography of Mr. Erdogan’s rallies, where his heavily veiled wife stands passively somewhat behind him and to the side. With the founding of the republic in the 1920s, the secularists around then-president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk tried to eliminate Islam. With last Sunday’s referendum vote, the Islamic AKP voter has voted for the elimination of the secularists. They are getting exactly what they want.

Mark A. Wolfgram, Ottawa

..........................................

Wave of discontent

Could it be that all Western democracies are suffering from the same underlying issue – social economic insecurity (Le Peuple: France Has A Long History Of Populist Upheaval, April 18)?

With a couple of exceptions, all major democracies are suffering high unemployment and increasing debt, with the prospect that the situation will worsen with artificial intelligence and robots. And what do our politicians do, almost everywhere? They campaign on the left and govern on the right. Oh yes, they say, we will improve health care, provide jobs and then ... well, you know the rest. My concern is whether this trend will stop before we stumble into the Third World War because of disaffected populations around the globe.

Dave Stafford, Fredericton

..........................................

Weed worries

Your editorial covers the many issues around the legalization of marijuana that have had extensive coverage in past months (The Countdown To Legalization Begins, April 17).

I am open to the legalization process. However, what seems to be missing is a discussion on second-hand smoke. What about those who do not wish to smoke pot or share second-hand fumes? Are safeguards needed for the interests of all segments of the population? Are there hazards that are not being addressed?

John Loewy, Saskatoon

..........................................

Most of the critics of the new marijuana legislation complain that it will affect people’s health and, thus, legalization will contribute to poor health outcomes. What are these people smoking? People already smoke marijuana – Canada has one of the highest rates of marijuana usage in the world. Do these naysayers seriously expect that, upon legalization, the population is going to run out, en masse, and begin smoking marijuana?

Teens smoking marijuana will be a problem. The evidence is becoming clear that smoking at an early age can lead to mental health problems. But teens smoke marijuana now, and their supply is likely contaminated with mould, pesticides and who knows what else. At least under legalization, the quality can be controlled, people working in the industry will pay taxes (as opposed to criminals who do not), and police will be free to pursue more important things. Legalization is not a panacea, but it’s a lot better than the status quo.

William O’Meara, Toronto

..........................................

Let’s park Uber

Uber floods the market with drivers, undercuts the fares of taxi drivers, and it has never made a profit, by its own accounting losing $2.8-billion (U.S.) in 2016 (Uber Says Sales Growth Outpacing Losses, April 15).

Apparently Uber needs self-driving cars to be viable. Therefore, Uber has to kill jobs and not create them.

It is true that everyone wants something for nothing, or at least something for less than what they are paying now. No doubt that B.C. consumers would agree to sign a petition to pay less for something. However, if Uber is not a viable business after eight years in operation, then why let it operate in British Columbia, as the provincial Liberals have promised if re-elected, and let it create anarchy and hardship for workers in the passenger transportation business?

Trevor Amon, Victoria

..........................................

Supply shortage

The letter to the editor Tuesday on rising house prices is naive (Bubble Solution, April 18). While I’m no fan of bidding wars, banning them will solve nothing. Rather than asking a lower price and hoping for a higher bid, sellers would just ask a higher price and get close to that amount.

The real problem is more buyers than sellers. Until the supply shortage is addressed, prices will continue to rise. That goes for any product. Just look at lettuce prices when an unexpected frost hits.

Steen Petersen, Nanaimo, B.C.

Report Typo/Error

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeDebate

Next story

loading

Trending

loading

Most popular videos »

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular