an interesting article by glenn Wheeler on the future of the NDP (NOW, November 30-December 6), particularly the suggestion that the NDP's lack of good fortune might have something to do with "the loss of an egalitarian outlook" in Canada.I'm not sure exactly what is referred to as "egalitarian outlook." For myself, I became turned off by the NDP not by a change in my own views, but by what I perceived to be a change in the NDP's direction. Instead of focusing on workers' rights, the Ontario NDP seemed to be getting involved in bizarre social-engineering experiments ("employment equity") and in the process got into bed with some rather questionable groups.
If the NDP were to distance themselves from the really controversial special interest groups and focus on workers' rights, health care, the environment and the accountability of the corporations, then maybe they'd win back some votes. Maybe even this Alliance supporter.DAN SILVER Torontowhen radical students andtrade unionists are in the streets denouncing international capitalism, and neither NOW nor the NDP can understand that the majority of Canadians are significantly to the left of all the major parties including the NDP, then something is wrong.When Ralph Nader can win a percentage of the U.S. popular vote roughly equivalent to that of the NDP in Canada, using an anti-capitalist platform and without a party organization linked to trade unions, while the NDP can't outperform the Tories, something is wrong.
But something is not wrong with Canadians, as Glenn Wheeler would have us think. Canadians are ready for a real progressive socialist message rooted in anti-racism, class politics and anti-capitalism. The problem is with an NDP that's afraid of what the liberal media thinks, and afraid of the class that puts it in power. That's a recipe for three seats next time.STEPHEN JAMES KERR Torontohurray! and thank you! yourphoto spread and commentary Insight: Bike Lanes Great For Parking! (NOW, November 23-29). Can you make this weekly? It may educate a few motorists and save a limb or a life.Any citizen can, when they see a motorist parked in a bike lane, call the police at 808-2222 and ask dispatch to send a message to a parking enforcement officer to ticket the vehicle. Cyclists need to enact a blitz on City Hall to get laws with bite, and on the phone whenever they see a vehicle parked in a bike lane -- which would jam their lines as much as our lanes.KYLA Z.A. DIXON-MUIR Torontoi'm embarrassed to hear thatLibby Scheier has passed away (NOW, November 30-December 6) while I'm still doing nothing substantial with my writing. Libby gave great criticisms of my work and asked me if I was ready for the controversy my writing would cause.I've caused little controversy. The fearless edge I had in my 20s has been consumed with working too many hours at jobs to build a writing sanctuary that I claim to need. Libby knew and showed in her life that there is no sanctuary. The sanctuary is in the act of writing and living.
I'm embarrassed by my complacency, my lack of motivation, my need for a comfortable writing life. I'm embarrassed that now that Libby is gone I have a catalyst to be what she told me I was -- a gutsy writer.
Thank you, Libby. You were and are a great hero and teacher.SHELLEY-LYNNE DOMINGUE Torontoyour ragazine continues to amaze me with your inaccuracies and one-sidedness! Your blurb on the Skydome Powwow (NOW, November 30-December 6) and the commercialization of the event leaves me with one big question. Who authorized you to be our "cultural police"? Whenever you choose to "include" aboriginal issues, whether it's Drew Hayden Taylor's articles or that blurb, it drips with negativity and borders on the "R" word. Can you show me anything positive regarding aboriginal culture in your paper -- other than the odd glowing review of an aboriginal artist? I doubt it. PAUL SAYERS Torontobob o'hara has labelled our band as a part of the "pervert community," a "third-rate group of idiots" and a bunch of "morons" (NOW, November 30-December 6) due to our Local Spotlight photo that NOW was so gracious to print. If the published photo caused you to be "deeply offended," you might go to the NOW offices and ask to check out the other 35 exposures that were not printed.
Suffice it to say, the "puerile and offensive" Local Spotlight image was the least risqué of the bunch. Maybe you should thank NOW for decreasing your chances of exposure to a heart attack.
KEITH MAURIK Maximum RNBwhile it is great that exhibi-tions such as Private Thoughts/Public Moments get reviewed and taken up in public discussion, it's a shame that gender feminists such as Deirdre Hanna re-inscribe the status quo by drawing attention to white liberal feminist histories (NOW, November 30-December 6). My piece Crossing Histories aims at a revisionist history of Canada that points, among other things, to the complex ways in which race, class and ethnicity intersect with gender and sexuality to create a national subject.
How much longer will it take such gender feminists to understand that race and class are implicated in gender and that you can't approach one without the other?
How much longer will it take for liberal white women to put aside their anxieties of having their white privilege challenged and take a serious look at what's really going on in Canada?
MEERA SETHI Richmond Hill