Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Have your say

  • Print

Election act not all bad

Doreen Barrie, in an alarmist fit, describes the Fair Elections Act as so deeply flawed minor tinkering won't fix it (Chief electoral officer under fire, April 14).

Send a Letter to the Editor

  • The Free Press welcomes letters from readers

    To send a letter for consideration on our Letters page: Fill out our online form at the link above, or Email letters@freepress.mb.ca, or Fax (204) 697-7412, or Mail Letters to the Editor, 1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2X 3B6.

Barrie won't go into the details of the bill's many provisions, which have supposedly raised red flags. I for one wish she would.

It appears the two biggest complaints are the reduced powers of the chief electoral officer and the elimination of electoral vouching.

As for the first complaint, it's unfortunate CEO Marc Mayrand brought this change upon himself. Under Mayrand's leadership, Elections Canada has a spotty record.

Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre's statement "the referee shouldn't be wearing a team jersey" is true, and is an example of the problem of Liberal partisanship in the federal government civil service.

As for the elimination of vouching, it's about time -- if there was ever an invitation to electoral fraud, it's the practice of vouching.

People should read Bill C-23 before being critical of it.

 

DON HERMISTON

Winnipeg

 

No electoral system perfect

Bill Rolls is to be commended for his letter, in which he restates his support for proportional representation in our electoral system (Anger over Fair Elections Act, Letters, April 15).

Such a measure should not abolish our traditional first-past-the-post process, as Canadians like to have their "own" members of Parliament.

As the German electoral system proves, this can quite easily be retained alongside proportional representation.

In Germany, people vote for their direct representative and separately for a political party. From the parties' respective lists, enough candidates are then elevated to the House to make the overall representation proportional with that second vote total.

No wonder Germany is one of the world's most stable democracies.

 

JESSE VORST

Winnipeg

 

>>

While agreeing with Bill Rolls' criticism of the pernicious proposed Fair Elections Act bill, I fail to see how a system of proportional representation (PR) would eliminate professional politicians from our system of national governance.

PR also carries with it major disadvantages, which its proponents seldom mention. It invariably leads to minority governments, coalitions (which are notoriously difficult to fashion), a proliferation of parties, horse-trading between parliamentary factions, frequent elections (as coalitions fall apart) and legislative inaction.

The other disadvantage is the loss of constituency representation. Canadians would no longer have "their" MP to talk to about local issues. They could be lucky, and have an elected representative living in their vicinity, but many voters would not be that fortunate.

In an imperfect world, there is no ideal electoral system. The first-past-the-post system may not be great, and could be tweaked -- if it were constitutional to do so in Canada -- but it's better than PR, which has little going for it other than its arithmetical simplicity.

 

GRAHAM PADGETT

Winnipeg

 

Douglas coverage overdone

The article Inquiry a 'stain' on the system: lawyer (April 14) bothers me.

It seems Justice Lori Douglas' picture is in the paper week after week.

When does this woman ever get closure?

I have followed the proceedings from the outset to the point where I feel badly for the torment this woman is going through.

The only thing I feel she is guilty of is marrying a man whose picture we don't see in the papers and who should be in jail for destroying this woman's life.

 

FERGUS LYNAM

Winnipeg

 

Polls not comparable

In case Len Evans was not asking a rhetorical question in his letter: The answer is no, we cannot conclude the NDP government is more popular than some may think (A tale of two polls, Letters, April 14).

The two polls can't be compared since they ask different questions ("If a provincial election were held tomorrow, which party's candidate would you be most likely to support?" and "Do you approve or disapprove of the performance of Premier Greg Selinger?").

Additionally, an online survey done by a newspaper is biased. Those who read the same newspaper may have similar political views, and the online population is not representative of the target population -- voting Manitobans -- since not everyone uses the Internet.

 

KAITLIN VITT

St. Andrews

 

Kudos to 311 service

I'd like to offer a different perspective to Al Yakimchuk's letter regarding 311 (311 ineffective, Letters, April 14).

I have called 311 twice since the fall and have also used the city's 311 iPhone app once.

Both 311 calls were handled quickly (within two days), and the pothole I notified the city about via their app was filled within three days.

I did not feel I was treated with anything but respect by the 311 representatives -- they were polite, helpful and both times offered me a reference number to use if the repairs were not completed in a timely manner.

 

MAGGI SAWCHUK

Winnipeg

 

>>

Every time I have called 311, I've received a prompt, pleasant and responsible attendant, who has quickly answered all my questions and solved my problems.

Customer service-wise, a representative was at my house Monday and was unbelievably helpful and friendly.

The 311 service has by far been one of the City of Winnipeg's best additions.

 

GEORGE KYLAR

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 16, 2014 A8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Glenn January won't blame offensive line for first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A red squirrel peaks out of the shade in a tree in East Fort Garry, Sunday, September 9, 2012. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A Canada goose protects her nest full of eggs Monday on campus at the University of Manitoba- Standup photo- Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Manitoba support the transport of nuclear waste through the province?

View Results

Ads by Google