I find highly amusing the suggestion of just-defeated Winnipeg MP Dorothy Dobbie that Preston Manning wants to impose his “dangerous” religious views on the nation (‘The crusader,” Cover, Oct. 25). I remember that Canada came through relatively unscathed while William Lyon Mackenzie King led us between 1921-1930 and 1935-1948, according to advice he received from the spirit world.
W. T. Bothwell, Calgary
It is election morning, 1993. Reflecting upon the past seven weeks, I feel a sense of déjà vu. Didn’t we exorcise our collective distrust of the political elites in last year’s referendum? Canadians seem caught in a destructive cycle of protest voting. When in the history of mankind has a nation so rich found so much to be bitter about?
Ian D. Clark, Hull, Que.
Where’s the sense? The left side of our collective national brain was short-circuited on Oct. 25 when we beckoned Preston Manning and Lucien Bouchard to step into the political limelight. The cataclysmic defeat of Conservatives is certainly a voice of protest, but moreover, it is a pathetic vote of illusion. It is foolhardy at best, and perilous at worst, to allow our national agenda to be extorted by the Bloc Québécois’s me-first mentality, and Reform’s tit-for-tat fanaticism. But, as the warning goes: don’t wish too hard for something—you might just get it.
John Larsen, Moose Jaw, Sask.
I am really getting tired of people—Peter C.
Newman being the latest—calling those who object to the RCMP uniform being changed “racist rednecks” (“This election needs a touch of magic,” Business Watch, Oct. 18). I have spent most of my long life in and around Ottawa, so Parliament Hill and an RCMP constable are familiar sights to me—and to the thousands of tourists who want their picture taken beside one. That uniform and the people who wear it are part of our heritage. But it is one more thing being taken away. I have no objection to a person of any race, color or creed being a Mountie, but I object to the well-known uni-
form being changed to accommodate that person. And I resent the aspersion.
Mary Richardson, Ottawa
In your review of my new book, Bom Naked (“Talking to the animals,” Books, Oct. 11), Maclean’s is deeply skeptical of my claims to having had a happy childhood. Apparently, I have disappointed you by my lamentable failure to describe how I was sexually molested by a trusted relative; subjected to racial slurs because of my alien (Scots) ancestry; victimized by soulless teachers, mindless social workers and sadistic policemen; and of the cruelties I endured at the hands of a rum-soaked father and a ruthlessly ambitious mother. I am sorry to have to be so politically incorrect but I experienced none of these things. I did have a great childhood and relished almost every minute of it. In my father’s words: “Now, God be thanked, those were happy days, and we had enough sense to savor them while they lasted.”
Farley Mowat, Port Hopei Ont.
Come on, Maclean’s. You write that “some of the strange characters inevitably dragged into office with Manning and Bouchard will shock the nation—and keep their leaders busy putting out fires”
(“Beyond October 25,” From the Editor, Oct. 25). Those “characters” would have to be extremely strange to be stranger than some of our past political goofballs. It would be strange if the Bay Street backroom boys lost control and we had a breath of fresh air in the Commons. If we get the governance we deserve, it will be a blessing to us all.
Ray Hickin, Chilliwack, B.C.
I was interested in your statement that “the Bloc will not want to force another election before a vote in Quebec determines the fate of sovereignty.” National sovereignty is one of the most important principles responsible for intercultural tensions. No separatist element should have the right to hold a referendum on sovereignty in its own area. The only kind of referendum permitted to deal with sovereignty should be of the whole Canadian citizenry.
Edward Macfarlane, Ganges, B. C.
Far from over
I was appalled to read the inaccuracy of your report on the union membership vote at the Giant gold mine in Yellowknife (“An about-turn,” Canada Notes, Oct. 11). The union membership did not vote 94 per cent “in favor of accepting an agreement that they had overwhelmingly rejected just weeks before the strike began.” What the members did vote for was accepting the Industrial Inquiry Commissioners’ recommendations to use the rejected agreement, with five exceptions, as a framework for a settlement. Your note has led to many questions about whether this dispute is now over. Far from it, I’m afraid.
Leigh Wells, Yellowknife
I am disgusted that Maclean’s saw fit to feature Randy Jorgensen as a great entrepreneur of the 1990s (“The King of Pom,” Cover, Oct. 11). In an age when you have many choices of honorable Canadians to recognize, why was it necessary to put this grand exploiter of explicitness on your cover?
Sheila Watson, Ajax, Ont.
Many times I have been deeply affected by stories you have printed. Somalia, Bosnia, Roch Thériault, Paul Teale come to mind; sometimes I think there is no depth to the depravity of mankind. But now, I cannot allay the pain, rage and disgust I feel after reading your report on child pornography. I cannot shake the image of a frightened child forced to engage in a sexual act with an adult in front of cameras and onlookers. A maximum sentence of five years for possession of child pornography? Who are we kidding? Why aren’t these people labelled dangerous offenders and locked up indefinitely?
S. J. Matthews,
‘From the heart’
Evelyn Lau’s persistence and hard work have paid off (“The pen is mightier than the sordid,” Books, Oct. 11). Her writing comes from the heart through experiencing life’s tragedies. After reading this article, maybe some immigrant parents will understand their children’s dreams, and let them explore their talent instead of hiding it for the sake of parental values.
Daniel Sakach, Welland, Ont.
The article “Social programs: the cuts to come,” (Canada, Oct. 11) implies some kind of virgin birth to our social policy initiatives in the 1960s. A form of income security for seniors has been in Canada since 1927 and discussions on universal health insurance began as early as 1919. Social policies to meet the needs of Canadians are not new ideas, and the changes your article suggest are on the way will weaken Canada.
Denis C. Bracken, Winnipeg
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