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Tough talk on Iran

Re Canada Sticks To Tougher Talk Than Its Allies (Nov. 26): It's embarrassing that a country like Canada with a history of peacekeeping would not endorse an historic interim deal to limit nuclear weapons development in Iran. Canada's current stance on Iran is characterized by hostility and a refusal to establish a decent working relationship. Have we become the thorn in the fabric for peace in the Middle East?

Rey Carr, Victoria


The interim deal on Iran's nuclear weapons program reminds me of the Munich Agreement signed in 1938, whereupon Neville Chamberlain, clutching the pact, declared "peace for our time." I hope that history does not repeat itself.

Douglas Torrance, Vancouver


It was interesting to see the participants in the discussions in Geneva pictured beside Iran's foreign minister. Let's not forget that the U.S., Russia, Germany, France, U.K. and China are the largest exporters of arms in the world.

Nick Nikolov, Oakville, Ont.


Re Six Months To Make A Deal (editorial, Nov. 26): The Globe and Mail risks its reputation as a serious, non-partisan newspaper by employing such a belligerent phrase as "Bring it on" in calling for new sanctions on Iran, should that country not forswear from the nuclear weaponry that The Globe accuses it of developing.

One would hope that this deal between Iran and global powers points in the opposite direction from a recent period in world history, in which that very phrase, emanating from south of the border, helped to poison much public discourse and reasoning concerning the Middle East.

Notwithstanding the Harper government's and your skepticism, Canada should seek to en-gage in, not scuttle, an historic opening for ground-shifting diplomacy and respect among countries to be reckoned with (a rank that lines like "bring it on" do not help Canada to maintain).

Andrew M. Wender, Victoria


MPs' credentials

Re Liberals Retain Toronto Stronghold (Nov. 26): Chrystia Freeland's election as an MP brings to the fore a troubling issue in our politics, one that allows a Canadian who has not been recently resident in our country to run for a seat in Parliament.

While I in no way doubt Ms. Freeland's intellect and ability to serve her constituents, I believe that our electoral laws should be amended to included a residency provision – one that requires all potential MPs to be resident in Canada for at least five consecutive years before running.

How else can an MP know the issues of our country?

Mark A. Greenberg, Toronto


After Monday's by-election wins, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said the NDP "is no longer the hopeful, optimistic party of Jack Layton, it is the negative, divisive party of Thomas Mulcair."

How insulting – especially since it is Mr. Mulcair who has been holding down the fort in Parliament, and hammering the Prime Minister on wrongdoings in the Senate and in the PMO.

Mr. Mulcair is carrying on the fight for Mr. Trudeau, whose attendance during Question Period has been sporadic and whose participation in the debate on Senategate is all but non-existent.

Judy Haiven, Halifax


Hogwash in T.O.?

Re Mayor Slips On His Gravy-Train Numbers (Nov. 26): Marcus Gee's column is proof positive that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is nothing more or less than Hogtown's Prince of Hogwash.

Walter Tedman, Kingston


Marcus Gee is right in debunking Rob Ford's budgetary fictions and his claims that the "gravy train" is rolling again now that the mayor has been stripped of his powers.

But Mr. Gee is wrong if he thinks Mr. Ford can't win in 2014 by manipulating numbers and repeating the same slogans ad nauseam. It's what Mr. Ford did three years ago, and it worked well.

Chris Sasaki, Toronto


Mom time

Re She Found The Real Face Of American Families (Obituary, Nov. 22): It doesn't surprise me that social scientist Suzanne Bianchi found that working moms spent as much time with their children in hands-on, close-contact time (12 hours) as stay-at-home moms.

Parents who choose to stay home don't necessarily want to be their kids' primary playmates or entertainers. The pleasure I get from staying at home is from being in the background as my kids go about their imaginary play, alone or with friends, at home or in the local parks.

In the end, we all get the same amount of focused face-to-face interaction, we just spread it out differently. At the playground, the working parents are often the ones pushing their kids on the swings or chasing them on the monkey bars; the stay-at-home parents are often the ones chatting to one another while the kids chase each other.

Susan Vukadinovic, Calgary


Divining Duffygate

Re The Scandal's Out Of Legs (Nov. 26): It's nice to see Margaret Wente breaking from the media "herd" mentality and seeing the Senate scandal for what it is: much ado about nothing. Taxpayer monies have been recouped; it appears Nigel Wright gave Senator Mike Duffy the $90,000 so this would happen.

The disturbing thing is that by needlessly giving out information from an affadavit to obtain search warrants, the RCMP has damaged reputations. Such documentation should have been sealed, as charges may never be laid.

Larry Comeau, Ottawa


Former PMO chief of staff Nigel Wright "tried to be a good guy"? Please. Mr. Wright tried to steamroll Senate staffer Chris Montgomery, who attempted to speak truth to power.

As for Margaret Wente's assertion that Mr. Wright was trying "to do the right thing," I'm left in disbelief. He was trying to make a political problem go away by arranging to have Mike Duffy's improperly incurred expenses disappear with Conservative Party funds. How ethical is that?

There was nothing honourable about how this affair was handled. In fact, integrity has nothing to do with it; it was about deep-sixing the fact that Mr. Duffy never met the residency requirement to be a senator from PEI and, secondly, making his expenses "problem" go away.

Doing the right thing from the start would've involved giving Mr. Duffy the boot from the moment they discovered he wasn't really a bona fide senator from PEI.

Peter McKenna, chair, Department of Political Science, University of Prince Edward Island


The Senate scandal will continue to have legs because it has morphed, in too many people's minds, from the true scandal of senators' claiming illegitimate expenses to the political machinations of the PMO and the endless debate on what the Prime Minister did or did not know.

Thomas Frisch, Ottawa


Margaret Wente writes: "Even my most Harper-loathing friends don't think he did anything wrong." Clearly, her Harper-loathing friends need to take a few lessons in the art of proper loathing.

Frederick Sweet, Toronto