Re Premier Faces Party Uprising Over Blunders (front page, March 4): A strategy to appeal to ethnic voters that includes “quick wins” by apologizing for historical wrongs? Building a stable of supporters to call in to radio talk shows? Using government resources for party purposes?
In B.C., they call it a scandal. In Ottawa, they call it a majority government.
James MacDonald, Edmonton
A challenge, indeed
Naomi Wolf offers insightful comments on issues that continue to impair the advancement of women (Feminists Must Challenge Themselves, Too – March 4). So what an ironic surprise that Anne Casselman finds it necessary in her article on women in science (Epidemiologist’s Gen-Y Zest For Science Is Catchy – March 4) to include the description of a successful young scientist as a “petite brunette with high cheekbones … and a kittenish voice.” How very helpful!
Lori West, professor of pediatrics, surgery and immunology, University of Alberta
Naomi Wolf’s challenge to feminists to be critical of their own “all-female groups” misses a key corollary. If such groups exist to counterbalance “elite men’s clubs,” the real challenge, surely, is not to compete for pre-eminence but to achieve an inclusive male-female partnership on the basis of absolute equality.
A matriarchal-dominated society is no more desirable than a patriarchal one. A truly humane combination of both male and female at all levels of civilized existence is the greater challenge that both men and women should aspire to.
Peter Gratton, Toronto
I appreciate the sweeping view of governance in Africa offered by the visiting American scholar Robert Rotberg, who neatly balances the miserable examples of corrupt and tyrannical states with those countries that have moved to enjoy honest leadership (Good Leadership Is Africa’s Missing Ingredient – March 4).
His summation is a useful complement to the fine dispatches of Africa correspondent Geoffrey York, who must necessarily focus on current trouble spots such as Mali and South Africa. It’s good to be reminded of democratic Botswana after wallowing in the mire of Zimbabwe.
One country not mentioned deserves a modicum of praise. Ghana had its fill of despotic leaders, from Kwame Nkrumah to a bunch of generals until Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings yielded power. Canadians and the Parliamentary Centre played a key part in this transformation by building up skills among Ghana’s MPs.
And John Bosley, a former Speaker of the House of Commons, achieved some advances in Ethiopia, definitely a tougher proposition.
Clyde Sanger, Ottawa
I believe that hockey players, parents and coaches need to take a field trip to their local brain injury clinic (The Game Changer – Sports, March 4). This would enlighten them about the horrendous impact a brain injury can have on people’s families, future employability, relationships and finances.
The field trip should also include a trip to a psychiatrist who deals with the depression, suicide, anxiety and cognitive changes associated with traumatic brain injury.
This type of exposure may reduce the number of players who enjoy the societal adulation of “finishing a hit.”
Shree Bhalerao, psychiatrist, Toronto
As an academic of the left persuasion (in sharp contrast to Tom Flanagan), I was heartened by Richard French’s commentary (Tom Flanagan’s Banishment Was A Betrayal Of Basic Values – online, March 4). Like many, I disagree with Mr. Flanagan’s comments. But I disagreed even more with the vituperative response that was so rapidly heaped on him.
Righteousness and censure in response to an ill-thought statement is hardly the basis for sustaining a civil democracy.
Ronald Labonté, Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Health Equity, University of Ottawa
According to Saint Mary’s University philosophy professor Mark Mercer (Professors Defend Flanagan’s Views – March 2), Tom Flanagan has every right to publicly discuss his views on child porn, and creating controversy isn’t a bad thing.
Using this yardstick, one wonders why Ernst Zundel wasn’t offered a teaching position at a leading Canadian university. Surely, he, too, had every right to publicly discuss his unpopular Holocaust ideas – or is such a right reserved only for academicians?
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Re Mind Games (Life & Arts, March 4). A few years ago, I wanted to try a new recipe and quickly reviewed the list of ingredients before leaving for the store: semolina, almonds and yogurt. I used the acronym method (SAY) to remember them.
I duly purchased the ingredients, made the recipe, then decided I wouldn’t make it again. Unfortunately, the list is still in my head, taking up space.
I think I’ll stick to writing grocery lists and boost my brain power by tackling The Globe and Mail’s cryptic crossword puzzle.
Avril Taylor, Victoria
Keep your eye on …
Re A Sport Many Play And Few Master Seeks An Escape From The Rec Room (March 4): One of the best references to table tennis comes from the 1958 movie Auntie Mame:
Gloria Upson: “Bunny Bixler and I were in the semi-finals – the very semi-finals, mind you – of the ping-pong tournament at the club and this ghastly thing happened. We were both playing way over our heads and the score was 29-28. And we had this really terrific volley and I stepped back to get this really terrific shot. And I stepped on the ping-pong ball! I just squashed it to bits.
“And then Bunny and I ran to the closet of the game room to get another ping-pong ball and the closet was locked! Imagine? We had to call the whole thing off. … Well, it was just ghastly.”
Steve Chitovas, Sarnia, Ont.
Whelan and peace
The story of how glasnost was enabled by Eugene Whelan (Man In The Green Stetson – Obituaries, March 2) is another great Canadian story that needs to be shared with the world. For maximum exposure, I recommend Ben Affleck as the director and the famous Russian actor Gérard Depardieu as the star.
Joan Hart, TorontoReport Typo/Error
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