Letter: Mandatory voting isn’t the solution

In a Feb. 16 letter, Sima Shakeri wrote that Canada should institute mandatory voting, to cure what ails Canadian democracy. Shakeri praises Australia for its mandatory voting system, and its consistent voter turnouts of more than 90 per cent. This does not say much about the state of Australian democracy. After all, it is mandatory. In fact, researchers at the Australian National University released a study in December 2016 reviewing their most recent federal election, concluding that faith in Australia’s democracy hasn’t been so low since 1975. A 2014 study from the Lowy Institute found less than a third of voting-age Australians had confidence in the federal government. The same problem exists in our country. Eighty per cent of Canadians […]

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Letter: Left and right need to respect each other

I think it’s safe to say we are living in very divisive times, politically speaking. Today, it’s a problem that members of both sides of the political spectrum are absolutely revolted by the other, and nobody seems to be listening to the other side at all. Instead, we seek to take away a person’s right to express a different opinion by labelling them—whether it be as a social justice warrior, a “libtard,” or saying that someone is racist, sexist, or homophobic. I was presented a good example of this the other day. As some may be aware, Toronto Pride recently voted to ban police from marching in and being involved with the organization of the annual Toronto Pride Parade. This […]

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Letter: “Anti-Canadian” values are difficult to define

Member of Parliament Kellie Leitch of Canada’s Conservative party proposed screening new immigrants for “anti-Canadian values” earlier in September through an email survey sent out by her campaign, resulting in expected attacks on what exactly Leitch means when she says “anti-Canadian.” This is typical of Leitch’s dog-whistle politics, as she attempts to appeal to “old stock” Canadians—that is, those who may harbour feelings of “concern” towards the immigrant community, otherwise known as badly-disguised Islamophobia. This is not the first time Leitch has targeted the Muslim community. During the federal election campaign in 2015, Leitch promoted a hotline to protect women from “barbaric cultural practices,” such as arranged marriages. She promptly apologized for this on national television just as she embarked on […]

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Letter: Death threats don’t belong in political debate

It’s one thing to say you don’t like Donald Trump’s politics, it’s even reasonable to say you hate him—but to advocate for his death is a little extremist, don’t you think? You should never tweet, “Somebody should assassinate Trump,” or make any other kind of death threat towards him. If you search “assassinate Trump” on Twitter, you will see an uncomfortable amount of posts saying he should be killed, or somebody else should off him. It’s not an excuse to say you’re just joking around either, because that’s the definition of hypocrisy. I didn’t want to believe it either, but you don’t see near the number of death threats directed at Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders on social media. This […]

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Letter: American election coverage dominates Canadian issues

This year’s race to the Oval Office has seen infinite spectacles, slogans, and soundbites which could be collected and made into modern art. From the supposed vantage point of Canada—a view from above the storm as opposed to one from its chaotic inside—it’s easy to tune in to Republican candidate Donald Trump projectile-vomiting insults at other Americans without an underlying feeling of guilt about his political success. After all, Canada is not the United States, and we can’t vote in their elections. With the infamous insult generator running on overtime in recent weeks, however, American news has overshadowed Canadian news. There hasn’t been a lot of talk on medical pot now able to be legally grown at home, nor on […]

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