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I want my vote

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Re I Am Canadian – But Now Not As Much As I Used To Be (July 25): My name is Donald Sutherland. My wife's name is Francine Racette. We are Canadians. We each hold one passport. A Canadian passport. That's it. They ask me at the border why I don't take American citizenship. I could still be Canadian, they say. You could have dual citizenship. But I say no, I'm not dual anything. I'm Canadian. There's a maple leaf in my underwear somewhere. There used to be a beaver there, too, but I'm 80 now and beavers are known to take off when you're in your 80s.

We live in Canada all the time we can. Our family house is here. Professionally, I still have to think twice when I say "out" or "house." I have to restrain myself from saying "eh?". In 1978, that's nearly 40 years ago, the Canadian government made me an Officer of the Order of Canada. The Governor-General gave me the Governor-General's Award a while back. I am on your Walk of Fame in Toronto. My sense of humour is Canadian. But I can't vote.

Did you know that? If you don't live here all the time you can't vote. Americans who live abroad can vote. They can vote because they're citizens! Citizens! But I can't. Because why? Because I'm not a citizen? Because what happens to Canada doesn't matter to me? Ask any journalist that's ever interviewed me what nationality I proudly proclaim to have. Ask them. They'll tell you. I am a Canadian. But I'm an expatriate and the Harper government won't let expatriates participate in Canadian elections.

Did you read the editorial in Le Monde? A full page saying essentially that Canada isn't Canada any more. That the beautiful, peace-pursuing dream that was Canada, the Canada you once knew and were so proud of, is no longer "Canada." The article goes on to detail just who we've become and it isn't pretty. It's very sad. And this new "Canada," this Canadian government that has taken the true Canada's place, has furiously promoted a law that denies its citizens around the world the right to vote. Why?

Is it because they're afraid we'll vote to return to a government that will once again represent the values that the rest of the world looked up to us for? Maybe.

Donald Sutherland, Canadian

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Canadians who pay taxes here – no matter what country they reside in – deserve to vote here. Those who pay their taxes to other countries don't deserve to vote here. Democracy's battle cry used to be: "No taxation without representation." It's time for: "No representation without taxation."

Nadine Rogers, Winnipeg

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Yes or no. Not maybe

Re Planned Parenthood Under Siege (July 28): Much of the abortion debate is couched in situational or personal decision-making, involving statements such as, "I wouldn't have an abortion, but women should be allowed choice" and "in the case of X, abortion is morally permissible."

If one holds that an embryo/fetus is a person, and persons are entitled to equal rights, it is inconsistent to believe that under certain circumstances, that person is not entitled to life.

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Similarly, if one believes that an embryo/fetus is not a person or that they have fewer rights than born persons, they should not be dissuaded by actions such as late-term abortion.

Katarina Lee, Carman, Man.

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Ridings. Democracy

Re Eve Adams Drama A Misstep For Trudeau (July 28): For those Conservatives who want to crow about Eve Adams's failure to secure the Liberal nomination in Toronto's Eglinton-Lawrence, I have just two words: Robert Libman. A short while ago, Mr. Libman, trading on his local popularity, handily defeated Pascale Déry, the Conservatives' establishment candidate in Montreal's Mount Royal riding.

The real story about Eve Adams isn't about crossing the floor. Neither is it about Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's poor judgment.

As was the case with Mr. Libman, the real story is that local democracy occasionally emerges victorious, even in our top-down system of electoral politics.

Howard M. Greenfield, Montreal

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Re Olivia Chow Returning To Federal Politics With The NDP (online, July 28): Former NDP MP Olivia Chow has been dropped into the newly created riding of Spadina-Fort York: No nomination race, no collecting of signatures, no knocking on doors, no finding new members, no debating opponents, no NDPers even given the chance to be an opponent to this "star" candidate announced by Thomas Mulcair.

This wasn't a race, it was a coronation of a quitter who abandoned her constituents mid-term to advance her own career with a run for Toronto's mayoralty.

Ms. Chow may well have won the nomination in Spadina-Fort York, perhaps even have been acclaimed. But what happened to an open nomination process; where's the democracy?

Isn't this the party that doesn't believe in handing things over without working for them first?

Brendan Edge, Arnprior, Ont.

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Boston has it right

Re Olympic Hosting Alert: It's Worse Than You Think (Sports, July 28): Hooray for Boston! Not only is it known for beans, but its mayor is apparently a bean counter (i.e. an economic realist) when it comes to recognizing the larceny that is committed by the International Olympic Committee in the name of sport. Pray that Toronto learns from him.

Stanley Cole, Toronto

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By 2024, how many of the Pan Am facilities will be deemed inadequate for the Olympics? And who knows what security will cost by then, especially in today's world?

I can already see the calls for all levels of government (read: taxpayers) to contribute. If Toronto wants to pursue dreams of glory, don't expect me and millions of taxpayers like me to pay for it.

Canada has enough issues and problems better deserving of our attention – and money.

John Whittle, Calgary

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A lion's death

Re Famous Lion's Grisly Death At Hands Of Trophy Hunter Sparks Uproar (July 28): There are many "Cecils" across all species, and across Africa. Rich, amoral hunters and poor, corrupt nations are putting unnecessary pressure on animals already threatened by habitat loss and poaching.

If we do not collectively ban the import of "trophies," we are facilitating extinction.

Judy Malone, Toronto

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Bugs on the menu

Re Insects, Done Right, Are A Viable Food Source (July 28): As someone who's eaten several kinds of bugs, from "Chocolate Chirp Cookies" made with locally raised crickets, to an alarmingly big (and crunchy) water beetle that arrived in my mailbox all the way from Thailand, I was happy to see this article. An important caveat: People with allergies, particularly to shrimp, should avoid insects or proceed with extreme caution. Many people are also allergic to cockroaches and dust mites, and their immune systems might not be able to distinguish between these pests and a delicious mealworm muffin.

Rob Cruickshank, Toronto

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