Volume 93, Issue 36

Wednesday, November 3, 1999


In regards to safety on campus

Democracy lost within criticisms

Millenium celebration misguided

Democracy lost within criticisms

Re: "Wherry the one slithering" and "No honesty, integrity here" Oct. 29

To the Editor:

Once again you have shown the inherent problem with the right wing in this province – arrogance.

As the two letters on Friday from individuals in the PC party reveal, Harris apologizers have no scruples when it comes to letting arguments devolve into personal insults, name calling and destructive shouting matches.

Since both letter writers espouse the virtue of "fact," do they know for a fact that Mr. Wherry is "slithering" across campus, or that he lacks "integrity and honesty?" If Mr. Wherry, in their opinion, insulted the premier, could they not have debated the issues raised and not resorted to the same low level of discourse?

This kind of reaction to any attack on Harris or his neo-liberal policies is symptomatic of the decline in political discourse in this province.

This sour climate was created by Harris himself, a man who chooses not to listen to contrary opinions, who started a revolution against common sense and whose ministers manufactured crises in order to force through change, thereby ignoring democratic checks on their exercise of power.

Harris has created a climate where viewpoints other than his own are not respected – where debate and honest exchanges of views have devolved into shouting matches and playground bullying. The mantra of the right [wing] today is "efficiency and action." Well, any reading of history reveals that the most efficient and active governments have all been dictatorships, not democracies.

Democracies are built on the twin pillars of inefficient consensus and inactive compromise. This foundation requires all opinions to be heard and debate itself valued, not just ready solutions that satisfy a minority with access to the organs of power.

There are very few forums where voices not of the right [wing] can be heard. I hope The Gazette continues to publish all points of view, even those of PC apologists. I may not agree with them, but in a democracy I expect to come across opinions I may find odious.

I, in fact, want to hear other opinions. Such dialogue informs my citizenship and makes me a better Ontarian. Not to sound too self-righteous, I respect and cherish the right of any citizen to express those viewpoints. I also welcome and honour my duty as a citizen to hear those viewpoints and weigh them against my own.

Anthony Martin
Information Science II

To Contact The Opinions Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999