Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content



April 17: Boston barbarism, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Boston barbarism

What happened in Boston was horrendous (Terror In Boston – front page, April 16) and, as your editorial cartoon underlines, barbaric.

Lest we lose sight of the fact that no one political group or radicalized cell owns exclusive bragging rights on barbarism, we need only read about the force-feeding of a Yemeni man imprisoned for years without charges at Guantanamo Bay.

Or we can see the lack of resolve among U.S. senators on supporting some kind of deterrent to an out-of-control culture of gun entitlement – something that might be a more powerful memorial to the slaughtered children of Sandy Hook than the forever scarred last mile of the Boston Marathon.

David Ferry, Toronto


The last time I was in Boston, the Irish Republican Army was openly soliciting funds in bars and restaurants in support of its attempt to force the people of Ulster to unite with the now-bankrupt Irish Republic. The people of Boston were generous in their support that funded atrocities at Omagh, Belfast, Horse Guards Parade, Manchester and Brighton. It’s both sad and ironic that now Boston has suffered the same fate.

Hugh Macartney, Victoria

Shocked, appalled

In your editorial Fight Fire With Fire Or Look Weak (April 16), you conclude: “Canadians have an appetite for humour and wit. And they don’t really appreciate when Liberal leaders sit back and appear to take it. They want to see some fight.” Let’s call the advertising assaults on Justin Trudeau what they are: hate ads. They have no more to do with real humour and wit than the taunting of schoolyard bullies.

And, yes, some Canadians do have a real appetite for this kind of slander – a clear majority of 39 per cent of the voters, as a matter of fact.

Linda Leon, Whitehorse


Your editorial reminds me of the one that urged Canadians to vote for a Harper government in 2011. Your cynicism in assuming that playing politics, even if it’s dirty, trumps integrity and truthfulness is shocking. No wonder young people in this country have little faith in politicians.

It’s this very attitude – that winning is everything, and that the high road is for losers – that causes our voter turnouts to be so dismal. Shame on you.

Mark DeWolf, Halifax


Why are we surprised that teens use bullying when our current governing party has been using the same technique on its political opponents? It’s telling that your editorial appears opposite Margaret Wente’s column on the fallout from youth bullying (What To Do About Rehtaeh?).

The Conservatives’ attack ads are bullying, pure and simple. Like today’s teen bullies, they use the media at their disposal to amplify the effects of their bullying, both to broadcast their “superiority” and to put us on notice that we (or the candidate we support) could be next.

Just as in the schoolyard, we need to stand up to the bully, to diminish their power in the eyes of the multitude.

Leigh Thorpe, Ottawa


So you’re saying that, because Stephen Harper is a bully, Justin Trudeau should be one, too?

Sheila Bannerman, Red Deer, Alta.


Bullying stops when bystanders decide they won’t stand for it any more.

Roy Cameron, Kitchener, Ont.


Justin Trudeau’s response to the negative politics routinely demonstrated by the Harper Conservatives is the right approach. It takes confidence not to be drawn into negativity, and it’s inspiring to be shown a new path to arrive at compromise and collaboration. Taking the high road isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength and leadership.

Mary-Ellen Aronoff, Toronto


Instead of telling Justin Trudeau that he should put on boxing gloves and fight fire with fire, I suggest that The Globe and Mail should put on its boxing gloves and get rid of political bullying altogether.

Maria Roy, Ottawa


One of those instant Conservative attack ads against Justin Trudeau reports gleefully – and with a special tone of amused condescension in the announcer’s voice – that he was a drama teacher for two years. It comes as a surprise to learn that a background as a drama teacher is a contemptible joke and an impediment to a political career.

Politicians from Glenda Jackson to Ronald Reagan and Vaclav Havel might argue that an earlier career in drama need not be the kiss of political death.

Who knows, it may even confer some benefits. Why, the PM himself might learn a few things from a closer look into Shakespeare – especially those plays about that young gadabout Prince Hal, whose opponents condescended to him until he took power and started kicking some serious butt.

John Lazarus, Drama Department, Queen’s University

Speaking of appalled

Re Modern NDP Takes More Moderate Line (April 15): The New Democrats, taking their cue from how Stephen Harper deals with opinions he doesn’t like, shut down discussion on whether or not to delete “socialist” references in their constitution by calling the matter to a vote before all dissidents could express their opinion.

It isn’t very comforting when the Official Opposition, in its attempt to “reach out” beyond its traditional base, copies one of the least desirable traits of the current government: the suppression of debate.

John R. Manning, Nanaimo, B.C.

Uncle Louis

It’s not a huge surprise to see Louis St. Laurent dismissed in half a sentence by Lawrence Martin in his column about Canada’s strong prime ministers (We Come From A Long Line Of Great Prime Ministers – April 16), but he certainly deserves more.

Mr. St. Laurent guided Canada through the early stages of the Cold War with a steady hand, taking Canada into NATO and sending troops into the Korean War.

He also created the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, and he initiated the start of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Maybe former cabinet secretary Jack Pickersgill put it best when he quipped that Uncle Louis ran the country so well he made it look like anyone could do it – and then we got John Diefenbaker.

J.D.M. Stewart, Toronto

Truly inspiring

I loved the response by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam to the Justin Bieber entry in its guest book (Is Justin Bieber Being Treated Unfairly For His Anne Frank Incident? – online, April 15). No condemnation for the Canadian pop star’s “Belieber” comment.

Instead, a look to the positive – he “stayed for over an hour” – and a stress on the possible – “we hope that his visit will inspire his fans to learn more about her life and hopefully read the diary.”

Now that’s classy.

Peter Hart, Canim Lake, B.C.

Report Typo/Error

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeDebate


Next story




Most popular videos »

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular