Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

AdChoices
B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals raised $12.4-million last year in contributions through cash-for-access fundraisers. Small, private dinners with the Premier were on offer for $10,000 per person. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)
B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals raised $12.4-million last year in contributions through cash-for-access fundraisers. Small, private dinners with the Premier were on offer for $10,000 per person. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

WHAT READERS THINK

March 8: Define ‘ethical’ in a political dictionary. Plus other letters to the editor Add to ...

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

.....................................................................................................................................

Define ‘ethical’

The B.C. Liberals’ move to more transparency in political donations initially seemed like a step in the right direction – but now it looks more like willful blindness (Breaking The Law In Lawless B.C. – editorial, March 7).

A bank heist that is captured on a surveillance camera is still … a bank heist.

Norman Ruff, Victoria

...................................

Re B.C. Liberal Party Says It Has ‘Nothing To Hide’ On Fundraising (March 7): If the B.C. Liberals honestly (if one can use that word in a sentence containing the words “B.C. Liberals”) believe this is acceptable fundraising behaviour, and that they have done “nothing wrong,” the mind cramps at just what would constitute “wrong” in their political lexicon. Is the term “ethics” even in their dictionary?

For that matter, I’m glad to see the NDP is also reviewing its donations for the past three years. Bingogate ring any ethical bells?

Erika Nguyen, Vancouver

...................................

No ‘safe’ guarantee

In your editorial Cloudy Ways (March 7), you state that the riding of Saint-Laurent in Montreal, which was held by Stéphane Dion, is “a safe Liberal seat, so whoever wins the nomination will be the MP.”

Don’t forget what happened in the riding of Spadina in Toronto in 1981. Then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau appointed the serving MP, Peter Stollery, to the Senate to clear the way for Mr. Trudeau’s aide, Jim Coutts, to run in a by-election in a “safe Liberal riding.”

The voters of Spadina had none of that, and instead elected the NDP’s Dan Heap, who held the seat until he retired in 1993.

So, regardless of its history, no riding is absolutely safe.

Andrew Chong, Toronto

...................................

Held to account

The letter from the chair of the Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers, William Trudell, is a “lawyer’s letter” (Publicly Excoriated, March 7). Mr. Trudell, commenting on the Halifax decision, states that the appropriate response, if there is an error in law, is for the Crown to appeal: “We cannot have a justice system where every time someone disagrees with a decision, the judge is publicly excoriated.”

Is he suggesting that the press and the public shouldn’t criticize the judge in the Halifax trial, which dealt with alcohol and consent in a sexual assault case? That the case should quietly be appealed if there are concerns?

The public and the press have a right and an obligation to criticize when they see what they consider an abysmal decision. That is our duty, not to hide away and assume it will be appealed.

Sydnie Crockett, Woodstock, Ont.

...................................

While the legal system’s holding to the presumption of innocence as a founding principle is in many ways laudable, that same system’s focus on punishment, rather than healing and rehabilitation, means that perpetrators of sexual assault have no incentive to tell the truth, and much incentive to lie to prevent conviction.

As many of The Globe and Mail’s published survivors’ stories attest, simple denials can be taken as sufficient reason for some police forces to consider a sexual assault complaint to be unfounded.

William Trudell’s cogent letter implies and advises trust in the system, but the system has shown itself to be poorly designed to handle sex-assault cases, and it needs to be held to account.

Conrad Sichler, Burlington, Ont.

...................................

Bulldog, bear. Grrr!

Re Russian Politician Wants To Legalize Soccer Hooliganism (Sports, March 6): Igor Lebedev, who sits in Russia’s parliament, makes some salient points for legalizing soccer hooliganism and making it a spectator sport, including no less an argument than that it would serve as an “example” for English fans, those “undisciplined louts and poor fighters.” Russian fans no doubt being both disciplined louts and good fighters …

B.D. Penny, Kimberley, Ont.

...................................

Portraits for the ages

Kate Taylor, who offers a perceptive analysis of the current state of government thinking about the future of the heritage building at 100 Wellington Street in Ottawa, advocates strongly for a national portrait gallery (Portrait Of A Building As An Ideal Opportunity For A Gallery, Arts, Feb. 4)

She writes that the plan to house a portrait gallery in the former U.S. embassy site across from Parliament garnered “strong write-in support, especially from older Canadians.” This statement, based on the survey taken last fall, might lead a reader to think a portrait gallery in Ottawa wouldn’t be of interest to the younger generation. Statistics of real people attending real portrait galleries suggest otherwise.

Visitors to portrait galleries in London and Washington are roughly equally distributed across all age groups, from the under-25s to the over-65s. In London, the under-25 group is 22 per cent of the total, making it the largest group. The under-55s make up about 72 per cent of the total.

In Washington, the distribution of visitors is roughly uniform across age groups from young to old, though slightly shifted to higher age groups. These figures are for people who attended the galleries individually or in small groups, and do not include organized visits by school groups.

The total annual attendance figures are impressive: About two million in London, a million in Washington, more than half a million in Canberra. Thousands of people every day from every age group. These numbers give some guidance as to how many people might visit a portrait gallery in Ottawa.

Julian Brown, Kingston

...................................

Pols on speed dial

U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweeting of the trivial to distract from the serious, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s “remortgaging” of hydro debt to enhance her flagging ratings, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s parachuting of a PMO favourite into the Markham-Thornhill by-election outside Toronto are all of a piece. They make us feel cynical and helpless about shaping our society, and make it easy to retreat into the comfort of our lives beyond politics, leaving politicians to claim that our silence is assent.

We need to resist this temptation to withdraw. This is the time to put our MPs and MPPs on speed dial and to call them whenever we want to criticize or affect their decisions.

Ab Dukacz, Mississauga

...................................

But(t) in the end

Campbell Clark (U.S. Allies Shaken By Trump’s Wiretap Tweets As Putin Watches The Pot Stir, March 6) noted that Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated accusations may “shake the faith in the fundaments of U.S. government.”

I am delighted to see such rich Chaucerian vocabulary. The government should, perhaps, be covering its fundament.

John Archibald, professor of linguistics, University of Victoria

Report Typo/Error

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeDebate

Next story

loading

Trending

loading

Most popular videos »

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular