Letters Sept. 22: Trudeau and the elusive majority; dogs an exaggerated threat to wildlife

Trudeau could have won a majority

Justin Trudeau likely would have won the majority government he was seeking if not for two decisions, one of which was not even his.

Firstly, the prime minister should have made the campaign 50 days long instead of only 36 days. The extra two weeks would have put the Afghanistan headlines much further behind him, allowing him to drive more of his message home. It would also have pushed the English language debate further down the line, which would have been much more focused on the COVID-19 fourth wave crisis in Alberta.

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Trudeau would have absolutely destroyed Erin O’Toole had the English-language debate taken place subsequent to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s mea culpa.

Secondly, if the English-language debate moderator had not asked Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet the controversial question regarding Bills 21 and 96 she referred to as “discriminatory,” then the Liberals may have actually taken some of the seats from the Bloc they were battling for.

Campaigns matter. Debates matter. The election was not pointless, a majority government was in fact possible, and things played out as they did.

Trudeau’s so-called “gamble” might not have realized in the result he was trying to achieve, but it can hardly be viewed as a loss, especially if right-of-centre voter support continues to be split between the CPC and the PPC going forward.

Trevor Amon
Victoria

Trudeau called the election on a whim

I went to vote in the advance poll at my designated voting station, the whole while thinking of how reckless, profligate and absolutely shameful it was that we were even in an election at this point in our country, and in history.

I was mortified to learn the cost of this election: $600 million! To think of what that amount of money could do for Canadians, such as clean drinking water for Indigenous people on reserves, or low-income housing, or … how about mental health initiatives? And most crucial, right now, the issue of health care, and the looming shortage of doctors and nurses.

But all of those things escaped Justin Trudeau’s contemplation as he considered his own ego-driven agenda. To be sure, he would not be spending his own money so blithely. That’s what I thought as I drove away from the polling station.

Yes, after sitting in the car for awhile, I realized that I did not want to be part of this reckless, profligate and absolutely shameful election that was entirely unnecessary.

Oh yes, I can just hear all those who parrot the worn-out phrase of, “if you don’t vote, you can’t complain about anything!” Well, actually, I can complain about anything I want.

It just happens to be so sad that I’ve lost all belief in the efficacy of my own vote, and in the government of this wonderful and beautiful country, who will call an exorbitantly expensive election on a whim, with no regard for some and total disregard for others.

Lesley House
Saanich

Hard day’s election with a touch of Seinfeld

Early in the federal election campaign, someone had labelled it a “Seinfeld election,” as it was an election about nothing.

When it mercifully ended, that proved to be absolutely true as the seat numbers each party won were almost identical to those held at the dissolution of Parliament.

A few seats changed hands, and a few government ministers were defeated. One television commentator called it a $610-million cabinet shuffle.

When MPs are sworn in, they must be made aware that they are to serve for four years until the next fixed election date, unless there is a “no confidence” vote.

The Governor General should outlaw snap elections in her next throne speech.

On a lighter musical note, watching party leaders’ speeches on election night, it was easy to link each of them with a Beatles’ song, playing on the Wurlitzer jukebox between my ears:

Annamie Paul, whose Green Party let her down so badly, definitely needed some cheering up, with the joyful calypso-flavoured Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

Yves-François Blanchet of the Bloc Québécois was easy to satisfy with the Beatles’ French-language masterpiece: Michelle.

Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party managed to split the Conservative vote, thus assisting his Liberal adversary, and was perfectly matched with Nowhere Man.

Jagmeet Singh of the New Democratic Party spent the entire campaign promising to tax millionaires and billionaires, and his song has to be Baby, You’re A Rich Man.

Erin O’Toole of the Conservatives certainly tried to unite the different wings of his party, and would often plead Come Together.

Justin Trudeau of the Liberals engineered this wasteful boondoggle Seinfeld election during the pandemic’s fourth wave, and deserves to repeatedly hear I Should Have Known Better.

Of course, all the party leaders went to bed with a line from another early song ringing in their ears: “Money, that’s what I want.”

Bernie Smith
Parksville

Stop giving space to all the protests

Please leave the protesters on their own, no coverage of any kind and it will be as if the oxygen had drained out of them.

The more coverage they get, the more they will continue to gather trying to share their misguided beliefs.

If all media coverage stopped, what would be the point of their gatherings and rantings?

Please give it a try so the rest of us can relax not having to come face to face with what is becoming more dangerous mob activity, especially for the health-care workers who very soon will be putting their own health on the line to care for yet another anti-vax, anti-mask protester who ends up with COVID in intensive care.

Pamela Jackson
Sidney

Government decisions work against people, dogs

Amazing how many decisions seem to have nothing to do with how people actually live.

In the past three years, in a region where many folks are older and isolated but have a treasured and often single companion — a dog, many of the few places where they can take their dog to run have been systematically shut down.

The field at the University of Victoria, for example, has stood padlocked and empty for months during a pandemic when people needed to get outside but distanced.

Now the city beach at Gonzales is to be off limits because of a general federal edict about dogs being leashed in parks.

On the Gulf Islands, walking in many acres of wild forest on a lonely trail, a ranger informed me I must leash my dog. I can’t help but laugh!

I am told this is to protect birds. I am a birder, but really — the boom boxes on Gonzales beach in spring and summer are more aversive to any and all life forms than any furry animal.

And I have never seen a dog harass a bird on that beach. In fact, except for summer months when dogs are not allowed, happy dogs and strolling people are the only beings on that beach.

The birds stay way off shore.

This kind of ridiculous edict is how folks lose faith in the common sense of their council and government and being to simply ignore them.

Sue Douglas
Victoria

All dogs on some beaches at select times

Re: “Off-leash dogs to be banned at Gonzales Beach after city gets ‘marching orders’,” Sept. 17.

Dogs have more rights to be on some beaches over the birds. Dogs are social beings that must have a chance to run and play with their friends, which can include a nice swim for some of the breeds.

Dogs are not going to take well to being leashed on a beach wondering why they can’t frolic at will. The same logic would apply to a child taken to a beach for a playdate, but having to hold their parent’s hand the whole time.

I’ve seen more children chase birds at the beach than dogs, so maybe the feds should look into this.

To suggest that dogs off leash on a beach correlates with many of the birds species that use the shorelines being in steep decline is absurd.

I would suggest that the steep declines are more to do with climate change, noise pollution, light pollution, environmental pollution, aggressive overdevelopment, etc.

Or maybe the birds are hanging out on the hundreds of miles of shoreline up and down Vancouver Island a dog will never set foot on.

How about allowing some of the beaches around Victoria be left to the dogs during a select part of the year?

Dr. Edward Baess
Oak Bay

Priorities, priorities on our front page

How lucky we are to have the Times Colonist!

We had a federal election coming up.

We have people dying every minute in the world with the Delta variant.

We have catastrophic flooding and forest fires in the States, and drought in the Canadian Prairies.

We have an humanitarian catastrophe happening in Afghanistan where people will be slaughtered or die of starvation.

But we have three endangered orcas likely pregnant in the front page of our Sunday paper.

Thank goodness for the important things.

Graham Didmon
Langford

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