Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

AdChoices
Ella-Grace and Xavier watch their father, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, place his vote in the ballot box in Montreal on Oct. 19, 2015. (POOL/REUTERS)
Ella-Grace and Xavier watch their father, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, place his vote in the ballot box in Montreal on Oct. 19, 2015. (POOL/REUTERS)

WHAT READERS THINK

Nov. 26: Electoral rejoicing? Not so fast 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

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

Electoral rejoicing? Not so fast

Re The Fair Elections Act Is No More! Rejoice! (editorial, Nov. 25): A suspicious person might think the Liberals’ well-timed fanfare over reversing much of the Conservatives’ Fair Elections Act is a way to deflect the criticism over stalling on promised first-past-the-post reform. Scrapping the unfair elections act is a start. But save the real rejoicing for the introduction of proportional representation.

Jenna Mason, Winnipeg

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

Re The Way Forward – Or Not (editorial, Nov. 19): First-past-the-post does produce majority governments, which would be much less likely under proportional representation, but it discourages many voters from even going to the polls if they live in an area heavily leaning to a different party. Others forgo voting for the party of their first choice and vote strategically to prevent another party from winning. Legitimate parties may get no representation at all, despite wide support in the population. This is certainly not a desired outcome in any democracy.

Perhaps majority governments are not the great thing politicians make them out to be. Coalition governments of like-minded parties may be much more democratic. If there is a referendum on electoral reform, let it be only after extensive explanation of the alternatives. And, by all means, make it non-binding. Let us not forget Brexit.

Margarida Krause, Guelph, Ont.

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

I disagree that a referendum is needed for electoral change. When women got the right to vote, politicians just did the right thing (although they took their good time doing it). Asking the electorate to make the choice is invariably followed by offering choices designed to confuse the electorate – and current politicians support the status quo to preserve their position and pension. What we need now is for a leader, be it federal or provincial, to just do the right thing: Make the change to proportional voting.

Ole Hammarlund, Charlottetown

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

Why are opponents of first-past-the-post so afraid of a referendum? FPTP is straight-forward, encourages majorities and keeps extremist fringe parties from gaining coalition-making power. We have regularly used it to throw out governments that have overstayed their welcome. I don’t back FPTP because I don’t understand the options. I back it because I do!

Laurel Cameron, Calgary

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

Voting rights abroad? No

Re Liberals To Reform Fair Elections Act (Nov. 25): As a native of India who gave up Indian citizenship when I adopted Canada, I take exception to the granting of voting rights to Canadians living abroad.

Many of these “Canadians” have lived abroad for decades, have taken foreign citizenship and, in many cases, were Canadian citizens of convenience anyway. When an individual leaves to settle abroad, they take on the rights and responsibilities of their new abode. They have no responsibility to Canada and should have no right to vote to decide who our rulers will be.

Sudhir Jain, Calgary

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

Tune out Leitch, tune in CBC

Re Leitch Proposes Scrapping CBC If She Becomes Prime Minister (Nov. 25): So Kellie Leitch proposes to dismantle the CBC: Disingenuously offering herself as an icon of “non-elitism” dovetails nicely with (mentor?) Donald Trump’s media antagonism. What’s next, 3 a.m. tweets from Ms. Leitch about how “the CBC are terrible terrible liars!”?

The CBC plays a vital role in maintaining an informed public, which is in turn vital to a functioning democracy. Her suggestion that the CBC should be dismantled for monetary reasons is at best a clumsy ruse: An informed public is unlikely to respond favourably to her kind of regressive politics.

Public infrastructure and services are vital to the fabric of society, and I for one am more than happy to pay taxes in return for having a country that I actually want to live in.

Brian Fairfield-Carter, Victoria

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

Cultural consequences

Re When Does Dress Up Deserve A Dressing Down? (Nov. 25): Whether or not the students at Queen’s University intended to be racist is not the point. The effect of their costumes has cultural consequences. They may be unaware of the political and historical harm of their actions, but it is then our imperative to educate, not defend them. Because no, on the body of white folks in 2016, a monk costume is never just a monk costume.

Eve Kraicer, Montreal

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

Kudos to Gary Mason, whose column regarding costume parties was an unusual accomplishment. The point of view that he presented was simultaneously self-evident and courageous.

Peter Stewart, Ottawa

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

Bring in a workday car tax

While I agree with the concept of a “user pays” system, tolls will just encourage commuters to use alternative major streets, causing more traffic chaos and inconvenience (Tory Calls For Road Tolls On DVP, Gardiner – Nov. 24). It’s time to reintroduce the idea of a car tax – but this time requiring an annual sticker for vehicles if they are going to be in the city between 8 a.m and 6 p.m. on workdays. This shares the burden between 416’ers (Toronto residents) and 905’ers (residents in areas surrounding Toronto). Very effective in other major cities in the world.

Robert Johnston, Toronto

Report Typo/Error

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeDebate

Next story

loading

In the know

The Globe Recommends

loading

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular