as someone whose life has beenI've experienced sleepless nights and acid indigestion trying to accelerate change within the NDP. It is conservative organizationally and quite resistant to change. I do not, however, share Jesse Hirsch's optimism concerning the power of street action or lobbying. Look south if you want to see how effective radicals can be within a two-party state.
As Glenn Wheeler writes, Hampton believes his mission is to talk to people "out there" about stuff that matters, not to get bogged down in left-wing navel-gazing. With deregulation, privatization, union-busting, environment degradation, police-state repression and social injustice coming at the people of Ontario every day, it's hard to argue with Hampton's logic.
He probably does have more important things to do than sit around with downtown radicals trying to shrink their heads or woo them into party involvement. In either case, it's probably an exercise in frustration.Ish Theilheimer
Killaloe, Ontariore what's howard hampton'sBright Idea? Rather than implying a dichotomy between party and grassroots politics -- "old-fashioned" vehicles like the NDP and new-media fashioned "political space" -- wouldn't a dual perspective be more productive? While the Internet has been used to mobilize people, validate their existence, and enlarge the terms of debate and conflict, the decentralized organization of online affinity groups remains fragile and they have few options for getting their message to wide publics, except through demonstrations and direct action.
In contrast, despite the poor office space they have been assigned, the NDP still has a standing within the government that gives them more options for making political news, for framing issues, and for gaining support for more progressive policies from many citizens who are not "netizens."
Transformational change will depend on bodies in parliamentary buildings as well as the streets outside.Bob Hanke
Senior research and teaching associate
The McLuhan Program in Culture
ontario is one the the worstjurisdictions in North America in terms of world protection.
It is open season on wolves province-wide. Enzo Di Matteo's article (NOW, January 11-17) does not stress enough how precarious a position wolves in Ontario are in.
With no bag limits and wolves being cruelly killed via wire neck snares, the recommendations by the Algonquin Wolf Advisory Group, stacked with hunters and trappers, do not go far enough to ensure the survival of the Algonquin wolf.
Unfortunately, we are also missing sight of the larger picture. The recommendations will perhaps only protect the 150 wolves who live within the park. The 6,000 to 7,000 wolves ranging in the rest of the province will continue to be shot, trapped and snared year-round.
Sounds like the Tories are deflecting the attention away from the more serious issue. The time to protect Ontario's wolves on a provincial level is now.
For more information about wolves in Ontario, visit the Earthroots' Wolves Ontario! Web site at www.wolvesontario.org.Richard Books Co-Director Earthroots
they say hope springs eternal.On a Wednesday in January, I asked 12 downtown idling motorists to kindly switch off their polluting motors. Amazingly, nine did. They ranged from a Leon's truck, to a taxi, another courier and several private vehicles. A FedEx guy planned to briefly stop in a bike lane, so I asked for a "favour" -- please turn off.One colossal failure -- an idling truck delivering furniture I had passed some 45 minutes earlier. No driver visible. On my return walk, though it was clear no engine power was needed for the work being done, my simple request was refused.
Maybe that truck is still idling.Geoff Rytell
by chance a copy of now mag-azine found its way into my residence. The article on the York strike (NOW, January 11-17) caught my eye.One of my sons obtained a BA at York (many years ago). I wrestle with the notion that people who teach should strike. But at York, at least there will be classes resumed. An uneasy peace will come into being.
York was dubbed the "Poor man's university." I'm an ex-Brit, new Canadian. Only the elite -- the wealthy -- could attend university there, and you never heard of a strike of teachers or professors in my youth.
In Canada, the only human rights you have are the ones you are willing to fight for.Joseph Lea
re best tall tale ever told (now,December 28-January 3). I was delighted to hear that your magazine deemed the National Post's reporting on my extra-curricular activities in the Middle East as the best Canadian news story every told.I applaud your journalistic leadership in light of your dispute with the National Post. Merely for the record, I slipped out from Istanbul after operationally landing in Ankara. The film documentary I co-produced with CTV on the experience is yet to be released.
I have been advised that the toys, food, clothing and educational materials I smuggled were delivered to hundreds of displaced and orphaned Muslim children living in refugee camps. The children were thrilled at receiving gifts during Ramadan from the city of Toronto. Andre Milne
i'm the whiny brit who wroteback in November complaining of crowd lethargy at the Lowest of the Low gig.Lord and butter (I've no idea where this endearing phrase originated, but the riposte to my letter used it), what a difference!
The Chickens (NOW, January 18-24) proved that clearly Canadians do rock. The crowd was lively and friendly, the band a total good time. Thank you, NOW, for continuing to provide.
you've just run a letter by oneJacob Mendlovic (NOW, January 18-24), who suggests that the recent killing of the racist Binyamin Kahane was a "tragedy." Kahane was a nasty piece of work, as you yourselves wrote recently. His efforts were not unconnected to the frightful body count in the West Bank and Israel these days. Owen Ford
Torontogood art critics should be able to state their opinions clearly and support them with well-articulated arguments. Deirdre Hanna accomplishes this challenging task admirably in explaining why she was disappointed in Ho Tam's exhibition, Lessons, currently at Gallery TPW (NOW, January 18-24). However, the headline for the review, which mocks the artist's name, is not only offensive but it reduces the reviewer's critique to the level of personal insult.Gary Hall
Director, Gallery TPWit might be helpful to yourreaders if Matt Galloway could elaborate on exactly what makes the house music produced by Jazzanova, et al., more "intelligent" (NOW, January 18-24) than any other?In an age saturated with lifestyle marketing ploys, a functionalist musical genre like house is a sitting duck for exploitation. If people require easy-listening house music, someone will be selling some. For my part, I'm a consumer just like the next guy -- I enjoy going out to dance events such as Movement, but I don't care how intelligent the music is. If it doesn't keep me on the dance floor, I'm going home.Tony Halmos