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Fun with politicians

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As Parliament shuts down for the summer, everyone's thoughts turn to fun (Parties Seek Tactical Gains As Parliament Winds Down – June 17). Yes, Canada, it's time once more for rodeo action, the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, "The Politician Stampede."

Watch politicians compete in events like the dangerous "Bucking Questions." See how fast they can wrap one up and get it to the ground in "Vote Roping."

Don't miss the indoor displays and games. See "It Slices, It Dices, It Shreds" to learn the satisfying delights of home attack-ad making. For the kids, there's "Hide and Seek the Receipt," played with real Canadian senators.

Wait, there's more: "Bull Riding" (come on, you don't even have to write a joke here).

We'll sell you the whole seat, but you'll only need the edge of it for the "Entitlement Wagon Races." Watch politicians in wagons pulled by four strong and fearless voters do what politicians do best: run mindlessly in circles toward the grand prize – their "Pension"!

Bryan Cox, Saskatoon

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Liberal ideas

Your editorial Some Good Ideas, Some Half-Baked (June 17) calls Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's promise of a cabinet with equal numbers of men and women a "nice slogan," but asks how it would work in practice.

This is just a guess, but maybe he would appoint equal numbers of men and women?

David Arthur, Cambridge, Ont.

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According to Liberal Party/Justin Trudeau logic, we apparently have to keep the Senate – a traditional and very comfortable trough for retired party worthies (for many decades, Liberal worthies). Everyone knows it would require a constitutional amendment to do something about the Red Chamber. And that amendment would be divisive as some provinces count on it – just what do they count on it for? Oh, well.

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No point in tearing the country apart over that embarrassment.

But we apparently do have to have some sort of system of proportional representation in the Commons. I cannot see how implementing such a scheme could be done without a constitutional amendment: If I am reading them correctly, the Constitution acts specify that members of the Commons are to represent "ridings" or "districts" on a province by province basis – each electoral district being "entitled to return one member."

So we do need to tear the country apart to change how we vote … What am I missing?

And this is promoted by a person who thinks he is well qualified to be PM. I suppose I should be grateful we're not faced with Donald Trump, too. Well, maybe ...

Mary Lazier-Corbett, Picton, Ont.

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Taking (NDP)  exception

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said there was one exception to provincial NDP governments' solid track record when it comes to avoiding deficits "but he turned out to be a Liberal" (Liberals Focus On Democracy As NDP Talk Economy – June 17).

Yes, Bob Rae became a Liberal about eight years after leaving the New Democratic Party, 11 years after serving as the NDP premier of Ontario. A good sound bite for Mr. Mulcair, but a cheap shot from a guy who went from being a Quebec Liberal cabinet minister to a federal NDP candidate over the space of a few months.

Patricia Wilmot, Toronto

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China connection

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As regards CSIS's interest in Michael Chan's work to build relations between Ontario and China, I'm wondering if CSIS ever warned the Harper government about John Baird's close ties with China (Investigation, June 16, 17).

When he was Canada's foreign minister, Mr. Baird was pretty darn bullish on China. He sought closer ties and richer trade with China and offered little public criticism of its appalling human rights record on his regular visits to that country. Now he works for Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, one of the wealthiest men in Asia. Of course Hong Kong is not China, it's just ruled by China.

Esther Shannon, Vancouver

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Michael Chan is quoted as saying: "For me, it is how I am able to bridge Canada and China. I can be in a position to promote both jurisdictions for the benefit of the people." Perhaps, but my tax dollars are only paying him to promote Ontario/Canada.

Paul Bennett, Richmond Hill, Ont.

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Thank you for shedding light on a situation that those of us living in the Chinese-Canadian community in the Greater Toronto Area had known about for years – that pro-democracy voices have been stifled by this group of Chinese-Canadian politicians led by Michael Chan and other self-appointed community leaders, and that our political parties are complicit in enabling them to attain positions of power and influence in our government.

L.W. Yau, Toronto

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The article, The Making Of Michael Chan (June 17), is astounding. Here is a respected cabinet minister, affirmed by the Premier, smeared by a shadowy agency (CSIS) and maligned in your article. Where is the evidence of wrongdoing? CSIS and The Globe will have to put up – or shut up.

Willem Hart, Toronto

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Shocked, shocking

I wonder if Laura Robinson would be shocked to find out that I am shocked by the fact that she was shocked by John Furlong's shock at her as yet unproven shocking allegations (Journalist Was 'Shocked' By Allegations – June 17). Perhaps one should not try to shock others if one is not prepared to be shocked in return.

Ray Arnold, Richmond, B.C.

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Black like me

Re Plunging Into Someone Else's World (June 17) Denise Balkissoon writes about Rachel Dolezal that "Attempting to escape who you are rather than grappling with it is a cowardly move, especially if who you are is the person on the lucky side of history."

Imagine the reaction if she'd said that about Caitlyn Jenner.

Bryan Demchinsky, Montreal

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Pay it back, Greece

Re Greece Must Be Saved For The Sake Of Europe ( June 16): Greece lived beyond its means for years, failing to correct its faulty economic policy. Now the rest of Europe is holding it accountable and it cries foul. The productive economies of Europe have every right to demand their money back on behalf of their taxpayers.

Gopal Bhatnagar, Mississauga

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Land of the free

There is much for me to learn about American politics. I see, for example, that presidential candidate Donald Trump likes to wear a dead raccoon on his head (Donald Trump Launches Presidential Campaign – June 16). Does Mr. Trump have some sort of personal connection to Davy Crockett?

Vic Rogerson, Calgary

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