Canada's IllsEditor: I am a Canadian working...

Canada's Ills

Editor: I am a Canadian working and living in Japan. I read your editorial, "Canada or Confusion" (Oct. 24), in the English language Daily Yomiuri printed here.


I was extremely impressed with your view and opinion on Canada's current constitutional crisis. You were precise and hit the nail on the head when it came to explaining Canada's woes.

Like your article, many of my American, Japanese and friends from other lands, wonder why Canadians cannot be proud of who they are. The United Nations, in its 1992 Human Development Report, listed Canada as the best country to live in.


With all due respect to your country, I also happen to agree, but I truly wonder whether Canadians have the common sense to realize this.

So many foreigners cannot understand how English and French Canadians can tear their country apart over an issue like language.

If there is one thing that Canadians could learn from their American cousins south of the border, it is to be able to stand together united.

Americans know who they are and are proud of it, and so they should be. Canada should import a good dose of this via the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Allow me to thank you on a refreshing editorial explaining Canada's constitutional ills. Your country may have made a major gaffe at the World Series by hanging our flag upside down, but at least you know what your flag will look like in five years to come.

Rik Gates

Yokohama, Japan

Not Welcome


On Nov. 10, the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland met in Baltimore for a special election meeting.

A resolution to censor Gov. William Donald Schaefer for his endorsement of President Bush during the final week of the campaign in St. Louis was introduced at the meeting.

Opposition to the resolution by the Central Committee leadership, as observed by the press, influenced the outcome, and the resolution was narrowly defeated.

The governor has defended his action by stating that he has a right to endorse a candidate of his choice.

For William Donald Schaefer, private citizen, this is certainly true. However, as private citizen, I doubt William Donald Schaefer would have been invited to make his 11th-hour endorsement.

The Central Committee has set an unfortunate precedent.


The Maryland Democratic Party bylaws detail ouster procedures from the Central Committee for members openly supporting an opposition candidate. This should include the governor of Maryland, honorary member of the Democratic Central Committee and head of the state party.

Governor Schaefer no longer deserves the support of the Democratic Party. For any future ambitions for public office, such as the rumored interest in the office of mayor of Baltimore, let him seek comfort and support with his newly embraced affiliation.

Janice Graham


The writer is a member of the Democratic State Central Committee.



Now that Gov. William Donald Schaefer has become a "mugwump" (one whose mug is on one side of the fence and his wump on the other), the people of Maryland can sigh in relief since we will no longer have to concern ourselves about his political future at the expiration of his term as governor.

By his choice to support George Bush, he is espousing the precepts of the Republican Party, which by its record has never advocated support for the elderly, the needy or the minorities of this country.

We can now say goodbye to the governor and his rubber ducky.

Norton B. Schwartz




I read Sheila Dresser's Nov. 5 report, "Children get civics lesson tagging along at the polls," with great interest and a bit of envy. Please allow me to report my election day experience with my four-year-old son here in Calvert County.

Like the children discussed in this article, my son was also fascinated enough with the voting process to quietly endure a long wait in line.

Imagine my surprise when an election officer at the voting booth insisted that my four-year-old would not be allowed into the booth.

Outraged, I refused to leave my son alone and brought him into the booth with me. Along with the lesson that we vote to choose our leaders and representatives, my son also learned that some public officials will try to prevent us from voting.

My husband voted later in the evening, when lines were two hours long, and he witnessed repeated examples of this disgraceful behavior by our public officials.

Interestingly, women with young children seemed to be targeted for intimidation tactics while men with children were apparently not hassled.


The attempts to intimidate women with children were obvious enough that families discussed while waiting in line how a child should enter the voting booth with the father, as this might minimize the chances of confrontation with election officers.

I hope that all women who experienced these intimidation tactics become more committed voters. The lesson for children is that the battles for our constitutional rights have not all been won.

Linda G. Morin


Opera Success

I can only hope that the Baltimore Opera Company can be publicized for what it really is rather than as portrayed on the front page Oct. 29.


As a volunteer in the office and backstage, it is obvious to me that what makes the opera company function is the hard work of opera lovers from diverse backgrounds but with a common love of music.

The goals of the Baltimore Opera Company are to bring to life the beauty of the art forms of instrumentation, voice and drama. It all came together with the magnificent performance of "Turandot" recently.

I trust that instead of negativism, the achievements of those who continue to bring the best of opera to Baltimore will be applauded in the future.

Deborah Rose


Election Message


Since the presidential election, the press attributed Bill Clinton's victory almost exclusively to concern over economic issues.

Without denying that this is an area of huge concern to all Americans, I believe there is another message inherent in the results of the election.

That is the repudiation of the Republican party's increasing capitulation to the conservative, pro-life, religious right.

Separation of church and state continues to be fundamental to the well-being of the nation.

Jennifer A. White