Time to change electoral politics if strategic voting is the best we can manage.
Spoiling for a fight
Alice Klein has obviously majored in "strategic voting" at the Buzz Hargrove school of political action, with a minor in the philosophy of "lesser evil" thinking (NOW, September 4-10).
The faults of the Conservatives are self-evident, while the Liberals typically campaign from the left and govern from the right.
Elizabeth May and the Greens have injected some excitement into this election campaign but have little hope of electing anyone.
It is true that the NDP is a spoiler in certain ridings. However, if this is the best we can manage, it's about time we started a debate on changing the nature of Canadian electoral politics.
NDP plays chicken
Regarding election called, left Still Fractured, by Andrew Cash (NOW Daily Online, September 7).
The article quotes only an NDP spokesperson, who reiterates the shameless spin that the Liberals have "supported" the Harper government while the big bad NDP has formed the "real opposition."
The far more outrageous truth is that Layton's NDP allied with the Conservatives in 2005 and throughout the 2006 election. Then, having brought Harper to power, Layton continued to play his game, i.e., the Conservatives made every other vote a matter of confidence and the NDP incessantly called the new Liberal leader a wuss for not forcing an election.
Layton's NDP, which will never have to worry about winning, finds it cute to mock those who can govern, those who must consider reality and not play "chicken" with Parliament.
Whatever flaws Dion has, cowardice is not one, nor is political infantilism.
Shouting from the sidelines, from the extremes, is self-indulgence that has become dangerous for our country. The challenge for real democrats is to enlarge the centre.
Jack, watch your back
I am a resident of Toronto-Danforth, and I would like to make an appeal to my fellow constituents: Let's kick Jack Layton's ass out onto the street for trying to keep Elizabeth May out of the TV debates.
Harper I can understand; Stevie doesn't want an intelligent person with morals and integrity to ask him embarrassing questions about Afghanistan and the environment.
Jack loves democracy the way Woodrow Wilson loved blacks.
Reality check for morons
It's sad that the only person taking on Stephen Harper is Danny Williams, despite growing unemployment, dire environmental issues, rumblings of two-tier health care and an obscene gap between rich and poor.
And what do we do about it? Shop. Who cares? We're getting a new granite kitchen countertop to match our new wenge wood floors. Wake the fuck up, morons!
Your music critics constantly give low scores to many loved recordings. Maybe it would be best to have someone review music who actually likes it, and not blistering misanthropic snobs whose only purpose is to declare their individuality by sucking the positive effort and declaring bloody substandard all that is evidently not. In my opinion, this reeks of elitism of the lowest order, or perhaps of irrelevance.
AIDS Wolf no howler
Regarding your review of cities Of Glass (NOW, September 11-17). I have one simple question to ask: is anyone else disturbed by the band name AIDS Wolf?
Air Show least of worries
Regarding Air show porn (NOW, September 11-17). In our quest to reduce our carbon footprint, we should concentrate on decreasing those activities that create the greatest overall impact on the environment. The amount of fuel burned during events like the Toronto International Air Show pales in comparison to the amount consumed by the city's cars and home furnaces over the course of a year.
Torontonians who truly care about the environment should ignore distractions and keep their eye on the ball.
Encouraging the construction of reasonably sized and efficient homes, increasing access to public transportation, reducing traffic congestion and gridlock, and encouraging businesses to adopt staggered start times or allow employees to work from home several days a week would all have an immediate and meaningful impact on our carbon footprint.
Snuffing out the Air Show is - literally - the least we can do.
CKLN: making the record
Regarding the CKLN discussion in your paper over the last couple of weeks, a few things should be added.
I agree that the station should be predominantly run for and by students. Considering it is first and foremost a university station, located on campus, and supports a strong radio and television degree program at Ryerson, it needs to be a place where students can learn and practise broadcasting in a professional environment.
However, university radio stations across the country are well known for their problems of inefficient management, inbreeding, poor programming choices that favour particular genres, people or geographic areas, and a clique-like environment that discourages newcomers who want to volunteer.
A strict screening process for potential volunteers and programmers often prevents stations from bringing in new staff with innovative ideas, while administrative staff and board members can remain unchanged for several years or decades, making the station stagnate.
Having worked in campus stations across the country, I've seen this situation repeat itself many times.
Ideally, a university station would be purely for and of the students, but given the financial constraints that plague contemporary campus radio, we have to accept that stations are torn between obligations to the surrounding listening community and the student population.
Hopefully, the CKLN situation will be resolved in a way that can balance everyone's desires.