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Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion rises on a point of order following question during Question Period on Oct. 6, 2016. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion rises on a point of order following question during Question Period on Oct. 6, 2016. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

WHAT READERS THINK

Oct. 8: Mr. Dion’s passionate digit. 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

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Dion’s passionate digit

Re Dion Gesture Leaves Mother Of Four Abducted Children In Tears (Oct. 7): Omar Alghabra says the Conservatives are responsible for the Foreign Affairs Minister’s demonstration of his “passion” by giving the thumbs-down sign in response to a question in the House. One hopes Stéphane Dion will be more civil in representing Canada on the world stage, lest he offend a foreign power by using a different digit to express his “passion.” If that should happen, would Mr. Dion’s parliamentary secretary again blame the Conservatives?

Richard E. Austin, Toronto

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Stéphane Dion’s parliamentary secretary for consular affairs said what his boss should have, but didn’t. Omar Alghabra noted that the Conservative member’s partisan comments in the House were inappropriate as they did not “help assure the mother that we are all working on the return of her children.”

But the Foreign Affairs Minister gets a thumbs-down for being even less helpful and decidedly more inappropriate. This is not the first time Mr. Dion has been all thumbs on delicate issues. He should be shuffled out of his current portfolio or, better yet, retired to the back bench.

Ken DeLuca, Arnprior, Ont.

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What hope for women?

Re ‘To All The Women Who Have Been Impacted … Our Sincere Apology’ (Folio, Oct. 7): What hope could the RCMP have of protecting and helping indigenous women and the families of their missing and murdered when they have been so unable to protect the women within their own ranks?

Conrad Sichler, Burlington, Ont.

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Having battled sexism all my life, I could not be happier that the RCMP have apologized to women who have fought these battles inside the force.

But it should be the particular officers guilty of the offences who are on the financial hook for the $100-million payout and not taxpayers such as myself. These guys have been coddled long enough. Why should I have to continue to pay for their arrogance and privilege?

Chris Boyd, Calgary

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The politics next door

Re Why Trump Is The Final Warning (Oct. 7): John Ibbitson blames left and right equally for the plight of middle-class Americans who have failed to adapt to the new globalized economy. For all the left’s rhetorical sins, it is willing to address the problem, as clearly reflected in Hillary Clinton’s program. When it comes to action, the obstacle lies squarely on the right. For most of Barack Obama’s mandate, right-wing Republicans whose mantras are “government is the problem, not the solution,” and “whatever Obama is for, we are against,” have had a stranglehold on Congress.

Henry Milner, Montreal

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Hillary Clinton appears to be caught in her own echo chamber and does not seem to appreciate that the benefits of technology, globalization and the lack of business oversight is taking hope away from people on the margins who have not benefited and have often been harmed. The benefits accrue to the top; life for the poor gets worse, and the wealth gap enables the rich to influence policy to an outrageous degree, which undermines democracy.

Those who are increasingly marginalized generally have little time or inclination to question Donald Trump’s simple message that he can “make America great again” – although his policies would almost certainly make their lot even worse.

If Mr. Trump is elected, he will accelerate decline; Ms. Clinton will likely slow but not stop it, and in either case, the disaffected will become even angrier. This is how fascism develops.

Dennis Casaccio, Clementsport, N.S.

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Hillary Clinton has scared us all. If her vice-president becomes president, we are in bigger trouble than if Donald Trump wins.

Gary Gray, Toronto

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Hungary’s ambassador replies

Re Hungary’s Sham Vote On Refugees A Sign Of Unsettling Trends (Oct. 5): A referendum is never a manifestation of populism but the core of democracy. The result of this latest one is clear: 3.3 million people, 98 per cent of the voters, one-third of the total population, gave a strong mandate to the government on an issue that was not known at the time of the last general elections.

Robert Austin writes that “There was no legal basis for the EU to force refugees on unwilling countries.” We agree. The EU seems to think otherwise, though. Its quota proposal was the one contested by the referendum. We are not talking about resettling vetted refugees. The plan is to relocate asylum applicants, among them economic migrants, and others we know nothing about, from one European Union country to another, against the will of the migrants themselves. Hungarian voters did not agree. This does not make them a victim of populism, xenophobic, or blind to the suffering of the people of Syria.

Bálint Ódor, Hungary’s Ambassador to Canada

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Hmm …

Re Minister Replies (letters, Oct. 7): Now we know how Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne picks her ministers: It is difficult to find someone who can write 175 words without saying anything.

Norman Paterson, Thornbury, Ont.

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