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Outside the Ontario Leaders debate in Toronto on May 27, 2018.

Mark Blinch

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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Wondering. In Ontario

If a candidate who wanted to become Ontario’s premier were found to have:

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Run into near-failure family companies he and his brothers controlled, via mismanagement and excessive payouts;

Sold a family company to a brother at an artificially low price;

Disadvantaged a sister-in-law and her children by mismanaging his brother’s estate, and by demonstrating conflict of interest … (Doug Ford Sued By Rob Ford’s Widow Days Before Ontario Election, June 5).

Might there be legitimate cause for concern by electors about the fitness for duty, and ethical framework, of that political aspirant?

Timely questions, these …

Roy Maddocks, Ottawa

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If the allegations by Renata Ford regarding the declining Ford-family finances in which she was expecting to share are to be believed, PC Leader Doug Ford seems to be living out loud the old joke about how to make a small fortune: Start with a big one.

E.L. Springolo, Aurora, Ont.

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You should be ashamed of yourselves for publishing such potentially damaging, unproven allegations so close to the election. No wonder Doug Ford has no respect for the press.

Agatha Mason, Toronto

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The choice in Ontario seems to be bad, worse or worst. Since coming here 50 years ago, I’ve always voted Progressive Conservative. But not this time, not with Doug Ford. So my choices are: don’t vote; refuse my ballot; vote for a party other than the three main ones. I don’t like the first two options, so what other party might I vote for?

In my research, I found the Green Party’s claims fiscally responsible and socially progressive. Doesn’t that sound like the PC Party as we used to know it?

Many, but by no means all, of the Green Party’s proposals lean toward dealing with climate change, something all parties must deal with. The Greens’ platform makes as much sense as the other platforms; its costing produces smaller deficits. (The PC deficit is, of course, unknown but everything suggests it will be substantial, perhaps bigger than the NDP’s or Liberals’). I am now persuaded to vote Green.

Why has the media ignored the party even though it appears to be a reasonable alternative?

Peter Hirst, Oakville, Ont.

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Has anyone considered what would happen if the Grits pull off an upset victory? Kathleen Wynne’s press conference could go something like this: “Regrettably, we have won tonight. I did everything possible to prevent this from happening. We must now come together as we cope with this unexplained and unexpected result. Together, we must put differences aside as we enter one of the darkest moments in recent political history. It will be an uphill battle, but with your help we can begin to heal as a province.”

Chas Scollard, Carlsbad, Calif.

Buzz as predictor

Re Social Media As An Election Predictor? Not So Fast (Opinion, June 2): A growing body of research shows that social media are an accurate predictor. I found that in the 2015 Canadian federal election, the total viewcount for all Liberal ads posted on YouTube was 10 million, compared to 2.5 million for the NDP and two million for the Conservatives.

In the 2016 U.S. presidential election, before the last week of the campaign Hillary Clinton’s total YouTube viewcount was 17 million, while Donald Trump’s was 16 million. In the last week, Mr. Trump’s total viewcount for new ads soared to four million, while Ms. Clinton’s new ads garnered only one million views, strong evidence of the impact of the reopened Comey investigation. Conclusion: Buzz does predict votes.

Sandford Borins, professor of Public Management, University of Toronto

Turn back time

Re In Tweet, President Trump Assumes ‘Absolute Right’ To Pardon Himself (June 5): By the American Revolution, more than a century had passed since the execution of Charles I and the disavowal of the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings. Yet, a quarter of a millennium later, the President of the United States – purportedly a republic based on the rule of law – claims for himself an absolute right to unfettered power. When he said he wanted to turn back to the clock, he wasn’t kidding.

Susan Cantlie, Toronto

Censored in China

Re In China, A Circle Of Self-Censorship (June 5): I recently returned from Taipei and Shanghai. I made sure to download maps for both cities using Google Maps. All was perfect for my week in Taipei, the internet was faster than here, and free wifi was common so staying connected was simple, and getting lost impossible.

The next week in Shanghai was the opposite. First, Google products wouldn’t work in China, so not only did I not have a reliable map, I couldn’t access Gmail or my contact list. Twitter and Facebook were also verboten. Ironically, I could access The Globe And Mail online until I read your article about China’s removal of presidential term limits. After that, your web page wouldn’t load and internet use became sporadic.

And don’t try to use free internet at Starbucks. You must provide your cell number to register, and they call to verify who you are, about a $12 charge. They want to know what every person is looking at. Welcome to Orwell’s vision of a dystopian country.

Jack Chiavarini, Milton, Ont.

Hungary’s minorities

Re Viktor Orban’s War On George Soros And Hungary’s Jews (June 1): Erna Paris writes that “Hungary’s non-Christian minorities appear to be at risk” and accuses Prime Minister Viktor Orban of anti-Semitism, a tactic that insults those who suffer from real anti-Semitism. Consider a few facts about what the Orban governments have done: established the Holocaust Museum and Day of Remembrance; promulgated Hungary’s new constitution, recognizing Hungarian Jewry as an inseparable part of the nation; passed strict laws to punish Holocaust denial, hate speech and the display of hate symbols and established a zero-tolerance policy on anti-Semitism.

Please stop playing the anti-Semitism card. Tired and cynical, it’s an insult to many.

Zoltán Kovács, spokesperson, Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, Hungary

Pipeline buyout

Re How The Deal Was Done (Report on Business, June 2): I am greatly reassured after reading your account of the negotiations leading to Ottawa’s purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

What could possible go wrong when a former Goldman Sachs investment banker negotiates with the descendants of Enron?

Jeremy Wilson, Victoria

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The Kinder Morgan/Trans Mountain pipeline buyout brings a whole new meaning to the term “Texas Panhandle.”

Ken Collier, Mission, B.C.


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