LETTER: Mackay Responds To Cillo's Response

Re: Not Gone Yet, But Easily Forgotten, Andrew Coyne, May 30.

While I am not a Peter MacKay fan by any stretch of the imagination, Andrew Coyne’s needless pillorying of him is uncalled for. MacKay had the guts to do what was necessary to unite the centre right and bring an end to the Liberal reign, which had a long-standing policy of having no policy. He served with distinction in the public arena when private enterprise would have been far more lucrative and far less invasive.

Cory Gelmon, Calgary.

Andrew Coyne has unfairly trashed a formidable Conservative politician whose family has served this country for generations. Rather than a rational assessment of Peter MacKay’s political career, this is a vicious attack from an obviously angry mind.

Carol Joseph, Burlington, Ont.

When did it become appropriate to publicly belittle our elected representatives when they announce their retirement from public service? Andrew Coyne’s column dismissing Peter MacKay’s 18-year record of public service as forgettable is gratuitous, unbalanced, and unfair to MacKay and his Nova Scotia constituents, who elected him MP six times. Coyne’s diatribe says more about him than it does about MacKay, who represented his constituents honestly, diligently, effectively and with dignity. The country could do a lot worse than to one day have MacKay as prime minister.

David Cottle, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Supreme Court filling the void

Re: Canada’s Judicial Oligarchy, Conrad Black, May 30.

Having practised law for 37 years and appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada, I have an enormous respect for its judges and the institution. However, I could not agree more with Conrad Black’s overall thesis on the court’s role in our democracy. Some of his comments are “over the top,” but when he states the court is exercising authority it does not have, I completely agree.

Where I differ from him is on the “why.”  Parliament has wilfully or through political negligence delegated law-making power to the court. Until this changes, the court will continue to fill this void. Consider Parliament’s record on same-sex marriage, abortion, assisted suicide and prostitution. On these major bellwether social issues, the court was drawn in either by deliberate invitation or by an absence of legislative will.

Gary S. Joseph, Toronto.

In response to Conrad Black’s truly alarming column and in the absence of any feasible plan to rein in the Supreme Court’s excesses, perhaps we could begin by acknowledging its power and renaming it the “Star Chamber of Canada.

John Sutherland, Victoria.

Conrad Black rightly denounces the Supreme Court’s gradual assumption of supreme legislative power as a coup d’état. This has surely been obvious since Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s comments on her court’s increasing role back in 2001. At that time, there was a comment on your letters page of the apparent direction in which she was leading the court. She appeared to deny that role shortly afterward, but obviously it hasn’t stuck.

Our predecessor, the British Parliament won supremacy when it chopped off Charles I’s head and in the revolution of 1688. In Canada, Parliament, in fact, retains superiority because its power derives from the vote of the citizens. It is elected and it appoints the judges. They have a limited constituency, Parliament does not. It has not given judges the power to cancel its decisions, notwithstanding the chief justice’s expanding dream.

N. Klenman, Surrey, B.C.

Keep religion off the pitch

Re: No Girls, Please, letter to the editor, May 30.

The girls of the Robert F. Hall Catholic  Secondary School should be celebrated and recognized for their strength of character to volunteer to sit out the rest of the game. They showed compromise and tolerance. The ISNA high school should be disciplined under a human-rights complaint. There is no room for the isolation of anyone because of race, gender or sexual orientation. Intolerance on any basis will lead to a failed Canadian society.

Robert Croghan, Toronto.

If Essa Abdooll-Karim of the ISNA school and his soccer team won’t play under the rules of the league, which may include mix gender teams, the accommodation is simple. Don’t play … take your ball and go home.

Matthew A Rotenberg, Beaconsfield, Que.

Doesn’t add up

Re: No, Every Vote Does Not Count, Matt Campbell, May 29.

Matt Campbell claims it would be better to decide a tied election using preferential voting rather than a coin toss. He is confused. What he has in mind by preferential voting is a system in which voters rank-order their choices. When no candidate has a majority of first-choice votes, a winner is selected in the following manner: the candidate receiving the least number of first-choice votes is eliminated, and his or her votes are redistributed according to second-choice preferences. This procedure is repeated until one candidate achieves a majority.

Obviously, this system cannot prevent a tie in an election where there are just two candidates, since there will be no votes to redistribute. But nor can it do so when there are more than two. Suppose there are three candidates in some election and that when the votes of the candidate with the least number of votes are redistributed between the remaining two candidates, they end up with exactly the same number of votes. We have the very problem for which preferential voting was supposed to be the cure. Better keep a coin handy.

Bernard Katz, Toronto.

The better way

Re: The New Religion, May 30.

Well, I guess I won’t be invited to the homes of Nipissing University professor of religion and culture Gillian McCann and philosopher Christiane Baileyfor dinner anytime soon. All those pure, self-righteous vegans or vegetarians or whatever they want to call themselves should lighten up. After all, it was only a movie. Of course, I’m referring to Prime Cut, the classic 1972 film about a Chicago mob enforcer who is sent to Kansas City to settle a debt with a cattle rancher/meat packer who likes to grind up his enemies into sausage. I’m pretty sure it was this film that caused an upward spike in the movement toward eating more greens and beans.

Bailey is one of several academics presenting a paper at the Congress of the Humanities & Social Sciences in Ottawa. Her paper argues about the “injustices” done to “happy” animals that will be eventually consumed by humans. I protest. What about “injustices” done to “happy” humans?” A news item printed in the National Post October 2012 detailed the untimely death of Terry Vance Garner, a 70-year old Oregon farmer who was killed and devoured by his 700-pound hog. Fortunately, the family and authorities were able to identify poor Mr. Garner through his dentures.

Although vegetarianism was never an option for me because of my adoration for well-marbled rib eyes,  reading about the Oregon farmer put eating kosher back on the table for discussion.

David Honigsberg, Toronto.

National Post

Source : https://nationalpost.com/opinion/letters/letters-in-defence-of-peter-mackay

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