Learn from Australia
Re: A proportional response (Letters, Oct. 24)
Proportional voting, as described by Ray Yerex, is not the only alternative to our present method of voting. Preferential (or ranked choice) voting provides the opportunity of ranking candidates in order of preference, something we often do, and take for granted, when shopping.
If one candidate receives a majority of all first-preference votes, he or she is automatically elected. However, when this is not the case, the candidate with the lowest number of primary votes is eliminated and his or her second preferences allocated and so on, until an absolute majority is reached by one of the candidates remaining.
The most common reservation I have heard expressed is that it is too complicated. However, it has been in place for a century in the election of the federal House of Representatives in Australia. I don’t think Australians are any smarter than Canadians!
Learn from Alberta
Re: Businesses brainstorm over retail theft (Oct. 24)
This is beyond ridiculous.
Liquor store employees and security guards standing to the side as gangs of punks steal shopping carts full of booze. And then casually walk out the door.
I recently spoke to a reporter in Calgary who said this kind of theft is not happening in Alberta. In fact, she was astonished to hear it was occurring anywhere.
What’s wrong with this province? What steps are Albertans taking to avoid such mass lawlessness?
This shouldn’t be difficult to figure out.
I have the perfect analogy for the current state of western Canadian separatism. I present the three Kingdoms of Westeros: Alberta, ruled by King Jason Kenney of House United Conservative, who seized power from House Notley with the alliance of House Wildrose. Kenney rules with his sword, Tar Sands, and the support of his hand, Scott Moe, and fearsome enforcer Brian Pallister, The Mountain.
Together they protect the Provinces of Westeros from their sworn enemy Oberyn Trudeau of House Ontario. Westeros has natural protection, thanks to its extremely long and cold winters, which form a sort of ice wall that shields them from eastern aggression.
Life inside Westeros is eternally preoccupied by political strife. An unhappy, over-taxed populace, known as the white walkers, form an army that spouts outdated political slogans and posts cantankerous memes about how unfair everything is on the internet.
The next chapter of this tale has yet to be written but already has a title: A Song of Ice and Oil.
Re: Canada more divided than ever: Scheer and Conciliation a priority — Canada’s future depends on it (Oct. 23)
Canadians are fed up with divisive rhetoric, disinformation, demands and demonizing people with a different viewpoint.
The prime minister this week used some of the less-offensive "c" words — such as co-operation and conversation. First Nations leader Perry Bellegarde speaks of the need for collaboration.
I would add more "c" words to the stew of conflict resolution and negotiation based on common ground and sharing the art of compromise and civility.
The ingredient of mutual respect is key if we are to experience reconciliation in the spirit of unity, which affirms diversity. The mayor of Calgary and others have called on us to "work together."
My hope for all Canadians is that conciliation can lead to reconciliation. May there be healing to our fractured-ness!
John Wesley Oldham
Re: Scheer’s next steps (Letters, Oct. 24)
Bravo to Gary Gaiser for his views on the recent election and for pointing out we are still all in Canada as it is the great country it’s always been! Drop this baloney about "separating."
Methinks our politicians spend too much time looking in the mirror instead of looking around to find ways of helping the people (including the seniors who helped build this country).
Jennie X. Smith
I happened to be working in Liverpool in the 1960s, and was lucky enough to witness the phenomenal and euphoric early success of the Beatles. When Beatlemania took off, every newspaper in the U.K. ran stories about their popularity and meteoric rise to worldwide fame.
Today, many are similarly interested in a young Swede called Greta Thunberg, with stories and photographs about her filling newspapers and computer screens. Just as it was back in the 1960s, an element of hysteria creeps in, and in some instances, it takes over completely with fake news raising its ugly head.
Thunberg is currently in Western Canada making scheduled appearances, and the mayors of Victoria and Saanich invited her to visit Vancouver Island. Due to miscommunication, the word got out that Thunberg could not ride the ferry to Victoria because it would involve using fossil fuels.
An Olympic rower immediately stepped into the breach, declaring his willingness to transport her back and forth from Vancouver to Victoria. That his boat was designed and manufactured with tremendous use of fossil fuels, its actual construction used many petrochemicals and that there’s rough seas at this time of the year, didn’t seem to matter. You simply couldn’t make this stuff up, but those inconvenient truths were conveniently overlooked.
It took a tweet from Greta saying that she simply couldn’t visit everywhere due to a busy schedule, and not coming to Vancouver Island had absolutely nothing to do with emissions from the public transport ferry service.
A 16-year-old girl has more common sense than those mayors, councils, rowers, politicians, assorted loudmouths and hangers-on who are all clamouring for headlines, and to bathe in the reflected glow from the klieg lights focused on Thunberg.
Another inconvenient truth is that her visit to anywhere will draw many followers from far and wide; most, if not all, using many fossil-fuel emissions from ferries, trains, planes and automobiles. No doubt I’m now older and more cynical, but life was far simpler in Liverpool in the 1960s. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
Congrats to Kurz team
Re: Canada wins gold medal at World Mixed Curling Championship (Oct. 19)
After all the stuff about the election filling the paper, you may now find room to publish some good news. The World Mixed Curling Championships were recently held in Aberdeen, Scotland, and the Colin Kurz team from Winnipeg won the gold medal.
This team also has the distinction of having the youngest player in history to ever win the World Mixed Curling gold medal. This should have deserved some press.
Congratulations to you all. You have made Winnipeg proud!