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Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, in Montreal on Oct. 19, 2015, after he led the Liberals to victory earlier that night. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)
Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, in Montreal on Oct. 19, 2015, after he led the Liberals to victory earlier that night. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

WHAT READERS THINK

Oct. 15: A year on … 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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Tick tock: Oct. 19 looms

On Wednesday, it will be a year since the Liberals were elected. Here is this voter’s report card:

• Avoiding a sex scandal in cabinet: F;

• Avoiding arrogant bullying by members of the PMO: F;

• Avoiding expense scandals involving cabinet ministers and the PMO: F;

• Avoiding unilateral program decisions forced upon provinces: F;

• Avoiding creating a niggling concern that our new PM is becoming a dictator: B.

Wait a minute.

Something about this looks familiar …

Don Paetkau, Winnipeg

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May I remind all those busy castigating the current government for not moving quickly enough on everything from LGBT bigotry, pipelines, the environment, indigenous rights, asbestos, legalizing marijuana and reducing solitary confinement of two things: First, liberalism has been defined as the inevitability of gradualness; second, this government has been in power for barely one year.

Chris Phillips, Ancaster, Ont.

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Tick tock: Nov. 8 looms

Re Trump Rages Against Sexual Assault Allegations (Oct. 14): As stories of sexual assault by Donald Trump continue to emerge, he may well find himself suffering from electile dysfunction.

Allan Q. Shipley, Parksville, B.C.

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I agree that Donald Trump will and should be missed after his political demise (Admit It, You’re Going To Miss The Donald – Oct. 13). However, he should be missed as a reminder of a disaster that befell the American electorate largely due to the cowardliness of the leaders of the Republican Party, and as a warning that a situation like this should never be allowed to happen again.

Based on Mr. Trump’s reputation as a bully and less-than-honorable businessman, they could have told him to seek his political fortunes elsewhere, but they didn’t. They could have dismissed Mr. Trump from their ticket early in the primary season, as soon as he showed his true colours, but they didn’t. Once he won the primaries, they could have disowned him as unfit to represent the party and to run the country, but they didn’t.

I am disgusted by Senator John McCain, House Speaker Paul Ryan and others like them who initially endorsed Mr. Trump despite his very evident failings. Now the party is in turmoil, the country is a mess and the rest of the world is appalled. We can only hope that Donald Trump and his minions will disappear into a room in the Trump Tower on Nov. 9, never to be heard from again, and that president Clinton will be able to clean up their mess.

Sheila Dropkin, Toronto

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I admit it. I expected Prof. Clifford Orwin to recommend how our democracy could be institutionally strengthened so that the chaos of Trumpism doesn’t occur again. But instead of celebrating American democracy’s survival of a near-death political experience, he laments the potential loss of Donald the Menace.

Without any dramatic irony, Prof. Orwin confesses that he identifies with The Donald’s supporters and their grievances. Yet he is on the record championing the neo-conservatives’ policies – with their tax cuts for the rich; free market, free trade; wheeling and dealing away workers’ rights globally – which deprived Americans of manufacturing jobs and created the American wasteland.

The only manufacturing the neo-con policies truly produced are the reactionary ammunition that The Donald loaded into his Republican populist gun and aimed at America in their name.

However, lest we forget Prof. Orwin’s ideological cheerleading in his nostalgia for Donald Trump’s insurrection, he scapegoats left-wing causes such as “Black Lives Matter to climate change zealots” so that when the next crazy right-wing nut rises to power, he can cry his crocodile tears for another missed opportunity to undermine progressive politics. A political advocacy of extremism is not science but chaos theory.

Tony D’Andrea, Toronto

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I gave at the a) club, b) party …

Re Parties Pack In Fundraisers Before Ban (Oct. 13): After 13 years of incompetent Liberal government in Ontario and ineffective opposition, this just reinforces the image of politicians lining their parties’ coffers as fast as they can and selling access for who knows what dubious purposes.

Richard Holland, Grafton, Ont.

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A genius, but in what area?

Re Dylan’s Nobel Win Snubs Literary Writers (Oct. 14): Dave Bidini does a good job covering the ambivalence most writers will feel about Bob Dylan being awarded the highest literary prize. It reminds me of how Freud won no Nobel, but rather the Goethe literary prize, yet Freud’s influence on culture across centuries well surpasses Bob Dylan’s.

Is Bob Dylan a genius? Clearly, but a genius in what area? Leonard Cohen and John Lennon’s lyrics are equally poetic and also have withstood the test of time. Yet, Mr. Bidini’s point that Dylan popularized verse in an era of poetic decline speaks to how much high literature often fails the accessibility test, and seems to be written for a tiny per cent of humanity to savour.

We’ll see what sort of influence this choice will have. I wonder, though, when the Permanent Secretary of the Nobel Academy, Sara Danius, told Dylan he had won, if he didn’t answer, “No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe,/ It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe …”

Ron Charach, Toronto

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