The Tories are scraping the bottom of the barrel (National Post)

Re: Tory Cup Runneth Over, Christie Blatchford, Sept. 8.
After all the laughing about the two rejected candidates is over, we should examine the more serious issue of what this says about the Conservative Party. With 32 MPs not running in this election, they have had to scramble to replace them. Obviously there is a dearth of quality candidates, as indicated by the number of skilled Conservatives who have left, especially those at the top of the party hierarchy.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper tried to smooth out the embarrassment with his glib, typically Harper answer – “We expect the highest standards of our candidates, and that’s why these individuals are no longer candidates” – which attempts to cover up how Jerry Bance and Tim Dutaud got to be candidates in the first place.

Even if the videos were not discovered during the vetting, shouldn’t there have been questions that would have revealed their attitude toward customers, in the case of Bance, or toward women and/or the disadvantaged, in the case of Dutaud? The very absence of these sorts of questions indicates the party doesn’t consider these things important.
Donald A. Fraser, Waterloo, Ont.

Christians should be priority

Re: Anti-Migrant Rhetoric Carries Echoes Of 1930s, Sept. 5.
The comparison with Jews in 1930s is not accurate. This time there are security concerns and, yes, Christian refugees should be a priority. Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and Pakistan have been facing persecution amounting to genocide. They are being killed and their places of worship destroyed.
Barbara Sherriff, Mississauga, Ont.

Works of fiction

Re: The Geezer Vote, Margaret Atwood, Sept. 5; When Margaret Met Preston, Ross McKitrick, Sept. 8.
We mustn’t be too hard on Margaret Atwood. After all, her forte is writing fiction.
Susan Watt, Toronto.


Thanks to Ross McKitrick for reminding us when a fiction writer is given a pen to write whatever she wants, hilarity will ensue.
Norman Russell, Toronto.


When Margaret Atwood filed her last Saturday column for publication in the National Post, I’ll wager she did it by keystroke on her computer. When she is paid, I expect it will be by the magic of direct deposit.

Yet this lovable leftie Luddite decries the loss of door-to-door mail delivery, and warns that hips will be broken “sliding over the ice to collect our pension cheques at the new group mailboxes we’ll be forced to use, since (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper is cancelling door-to-door delivery.” (Not true, of course. It was a decision of CEO Deepak  Chopra at Canada Post).

Atwood is a senior of 75, yet she has adapted. I suppose the moral of the story is that one should never let the facts of modern life get in the way of a good Harper hate.
J. David Gorrell, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Caution needed

Re: PM Rejects Rivals’ Calls For Meeting On CrisisEuropean Union To Redistribute MigrantsGermany Steps Up; ‘Why Are Muslim Countries Doing Nothing To Help The Refugees?’, letters to the editor, all, Sept. 8.
Canadians are a compassionate people. We want to help refugees re-establish their lives in safety, but this does not mean we have to follow Europe’s lead.

Two years ago, Martin Schultz, president of the European Parliament said, “Jewish people are living in fear in Europe.” European anti-Semitism is largely the result of massive Islamic immigration. The latest rush of uncontrolled migration will further destabilize the European Union and speed up the flight of Jews, particularly from the U.K., France, Norway and Sweden.

Canada must be cautious. Christians, Jews and other minorities, threatened by Muslims in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe must be welcomed. We must also demand Islamic countries take full responsibility for their own brothers. Canada must not be blind-sided as Europe has been.
Len Bennett, Ottawa.


Kudos to letter writer Peter Strachan. Not only will there be refugees from Syria, but refugees from Quebec if Bill 59 is enacted, which will make it a crime to write, say, email, blog or anything else against Islam. We must stop being bleeding hearts and consider the future of the country and our children.
Joan R. Felvinci, Montreal.


This coming Friday marks a day that changed the world. Doesn’t anyone remember that frightening day and the cheering from the Middle East countries when the towers fell? I want to help the innocent displaced people from Syria. Prime Minister Stephen Harper gets it. Let’s make sure we are helping those who really need help and not just opening the flood gates because of an election.
K. Rivera, Mississauga, Ont.


As the tragedy in and around Syria continues to unfold, world leaders, especially in the European Union, seem paralyzed in coming to grips with the crisis. One solution may be to name Greece the designated refugee terminus as most are landing there initially. EU members and other nations could then concentrate their diplomatic efforts there and make decisions concerning what refugees should go where in an organized fashion, compared with the helter- skelter approach we’re seeing now, especially in Hungary.

As a side note, Greece should be given some form of “debt relief” for providing this service to the EU as well as others; with its current unemployment rate, there should be plenty of resources available to perform these functions.

This crisis has been going on for many months and it’s unfortunate it has taken the death of an innocent child to spur world leaders into action.
Neal St Jacques, Toronto.


Why should Israel accept Syrian refugees? Syria has been at war with Israel for 70 years, has been the launching pad for countless terrorist attacks and caused the deaths of countless Israeli citizens. Let them go to Saudi Arabia or any other Islamic country.

Israel took in a million Jews who were kicked out by almost all Arab states after 1947. No doubt these same Arab states who allowed Palestinians who fled Israel after the Jews won the War of Independence to rot in refugee camps  are the same ones who are now refusing to shelter the Syrians.
Noel Hershfield, Calgary.

First reality TV pres?

Re: The Man Who’s Wrecking The GOP, George F. Will, Aug. 26; Trump Says He’ll Run As A Republican, Sept. 4.
The most serious political commentators – George Will, Charles Krauthhammer, etc. – have decried Donald Trump and predicted his imminent demise as an unserious candidate. But each ludicrous utterance from him has only increased his polling, prompting even the most serious journalists to admit this is unprecedented. I believe Trump started this as a lark but when he went out to a big lead and now has inexplicably stayed there, he has dared to dream what should have been the impossible.

It is estimated 10 to  20 per cent of American voters are aware of the issues and follow the election closely.  You could show the other 80 per cent a picture of Joe Biden, ask who he is and they would have no idea. But they recognize Kim Kardashian – and Donald Trump. I fear the evolution of U.S. pop culture may mean Americans are about to elect the first reality show president.
Jeff Brandwein, Toronto.

National Post