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Letters to the Editor Jan. 25: Stamp of disapproval for Liberals’ Canada Post decision. Plus other letters to the editor

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

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Stamp of disapproval

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Re Liberals Opt Against Canada Post Overhaul (Jan. 24): They've done it again. Quite apart from the big picture of deficit spending for the foreseeable future, the Liberal government is wasting my grandkids' money on populist, economically nonsensical reversals of hard decisions which, warts and all, the Harper government enacted.

The latest fiscal affront is the preservation of home delivery of mail to that segment of the population still receiving it. After all, let's not try to impose fiscal discipline on Canada Post by the most effective and obvious means. An earlier, similarly idiotic reversal was scuttling the increase in the age of eligibility for Old Age Security – as if our country alone does not face the time bomb of predictable demographic reality.

All to garner the votes of those people apparently incapable of asking themselves: Where does the money come from?

Gordon Jones, Glen Margaret, N.S.

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Distractor-in-chief

As a close professional observer of the American scene, it pains me to conclude that Donald Trump's first year in office has been a roaring success.

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What critics fail to understand is that he has redefined the presidential role to distractor-in-chief, keeping the chattering classes focused on his bizarre antics. His flood of inflammatory tweets, falsehoods and innumerable changes of position swallow up all the attention in a great, black hole. Meanwhile, reluctant allies, the "hard men" of the right, chiefly in the GOP, go about transforming the system of government in relative obscurity.

While critics are obsessed with his all too apparent character flaws, the hard men (most of whom at one time opposed and ridiculed him) implement the long-cherished "conservative" (only in American-speak) agenda: rigging elections through voter suppression and gerrymandering; packing the federal judiciary, up to and including the Supreme Court; dismantling environmental protections and repudiating the Paris treaty; systematically violating international norms for humanitarian treatment of refugees; repealing but not yet replacing Obamacare; gutting consumer protections; opening federal lands to unconstrained mineral exploitation; slashing taxes on the very rich, and big corporations; repudiating international trade agreements (soon to include NAFTA); hollowing out, then shutting down the federal bureaucracy.

These are truly historical achievements for any presidency, let alone a political neophyte's first year. I shudder at what the encore might hold.

Mr. Trump has indelibly left his mark, for better or (I believe) worse, on the U.S. government for years, if not decades to come.

Gordon Ritchie, former trade negotiator, Ottawa

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Re Solar Industry Warns Of Hit From U.S. Panel Tariff (Report on Business, Jan. 24): I know I shouldn't be surprised, since Donald Trump seems hellbent on doing things that outrage or amaze people. Nonetheless, putting extraordinary tariffs on foreign solar panels looks, at least from his blinkered perspective, to be something of a master stroke. After all, it appears not only to really mess with everyone involved in the renewable-energy sector in the U.S., but it also tugs a formidable forelock to his anti-free trade base. My apologies for being surprised, but his cynicism is beyond even my rather bleak outlook.

Nigel Brachi, Edmonton

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In Hollywood. And beyond

Re Oscars Bite Back At Trump, Weinstein, But Do They Honour The Year's Best? (Folio, Jan. 24): It is about time. Despite the tumultuous political climate we are living through, the human race has once again proved its resilience in the face of adversity.

This has been a big year for Hollywood: the #MeToo campaign, the white-washing controversy, the fight for equal pay and more diverse casting. Surely, the culminating night for the industry should represent its changing face: its swapping out of white, sexist men in favour of young, powerful women.

The risks being taken in Hollywood should serve as a lesson to us all: Do not fear the repercussions of confronting controversy – the reality of a homogeneous world is far more daunting.

Let's hope that this is the start of something new, in Hollywood and beyond.

Chantal Elias, Toronto

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Do right by the whales

Re Ottawa Sets New Fishing Rules In Bid To Save Right Whales (Jan. 24): If we know snow crab fishing is killing the endangered right whales, why do we continue to allow it to happen? We cannot control the whales. We can only control the laws that legislate the industry.

The world will survive with fewer snow crabs at market, but the right whales may not survive unless our federal government protects them. Shut this snow crab fishery down. Changing some rules is not enough.

Mary Burge, Toronto

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Rural vs. urban clout

Re Sanctuary Cities (Opinion Section, Jan. 20): Federal ridings in Canada are "gerrymandered" as much as districts in the U.S. The difference is that here, the gerrymandering is historic, and to a degree, Constitution-driven.

The populations of federal ridings (and provincial, where they mirror the federal riding) are all over the map. Consider an urban riding in Toronto, versus a rural riding in Quebec or PEI. The urban riding could easily have more than 100,000 voters. The rural riding could have far fewer than 50,000.

This is repeated across Canada. While redistribution is undertaken periodically to address the disparity, the end result is that the Canadian system gives far greater weight to a rural vote than to an urban one. Michael Adams and Doug Norris's thesis that the greater clout of cities here, as compared to the U.S., precludes a Trump-style backlash doesn't give enough weight to the fact that a rural vote in Canada has far great clout than does an urban one.

Kelly MacGregor, Toronto

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A force for humanity

Re One Man's Continuing Quest To Honour A Humanitarian (Jan. 23): The attempts to honour Lotta Hitschmanova on a commemorative postage stamp brought back memories of how she made the Unitarian Service Committee famous in Canada in the years after the Second World War, when so many were trying to survive in brutal circumstances.

I was a high school principal and invited her to address the student body in the late 1970s on one of her cross-country fundraising tours. She was a diminutive figure in her unique uniform and I heard some of the "cool" students snicker as she headed to the stage. She soon had them eating out of her hand, and the student council voted to donate the whole proceeds of the next school dance to the USC. Dr. Lotta was a force for humanity and deserves to be commemorated.

Kerry Johnston, Toronto

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