Politics

Dear Mr President, America is a fascinating society. It is a nation of nations: the world in miniature. Every continent, culture and civilisation is represented within your ranks. In our unipolar world, non-alignment is no more the policy option of Third World countries who feared the collision or collusion of the two competing superpowers. Rather, it should be what characterises American foreign policy. Because if the US sides with one belligerent player in a regional conflict, not only does it unnecessarily alienate and antagonise all the other countries in the area but it also offends and ghettoises a domestic component of its own national and social fabric. A recent poll showed that 66 per cent of the American public wanted the US to be a neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian...
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Dear Melanie Congratulations on your appointment as permanent secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government. Your career across government gives you the best possible experience on which to draw, and you have the best wishes of the local government sector as you come into the job. As you enter the department, I’m sure you are aware that there is no magic bullet or easy solution to the many challenges that it faces. After five years of deficit reduction and austerity many local government functions have been cut to such a degree that DCLG often seems to have little to do other than observe the reduction in activity. This means that now more than ever we need realism, transparency and pragmatism to be the watchwords of the department. Councils are facing more...
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Dear Friends, This has been a difficult and sombre week in Canada. We were all shocked by the terrible and violent events in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and in our nation’s capital, and we are united in mourning the deaths of two Canadian soldiers. We will not forget them and join with the Muslim community in sending our heartfelt condolences to their family and friends. As we struggle to comprehend these terrible events, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We are all Canadian, and we have all been profoundly touched by this tragedy. In the days and weeks to come, whether talking about protecting civilians in the Middle East, fighting racism and Islamophobia or ensuring rights are respected here at home, New Democrats can be counted on to stand up for human...
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Dear Party Leaders, Whatever the outcome of today’s referendum about the future governance of Scotland, there seems to be a strong consensus that nothing will ever quite be the same again. People in Scotland have been granted their right to be heard and have used the opportunity to imagine all kinds of positive futures. Alongside the official Yes and No campaigns, we have seen the growth of genuine grassroots movements, giving everyone a voice. Across the nation, people previously disengaged from formal politics have been passionately debating what matters to them – all because they have a decision to make in which their individual vote really will influence the outcome. For many of these people, voting had previously become merely an exercise in democracy rather than true...
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Dear Prime Minister: Many Americans love Canada and the specific benefits that have come to our country from our northern neighbor's many achievements (see Canada Firsts by Nader, Conacher and Milleron). Unfortunately, your latest proposed legislation -- the new anti-terrorism act -- is being described by leading Canadian civil liberties scholars as hazardous to Canadian democracy. A central criticism was ably summarized in a February 2015 Globe and Mail editorial titled "Parliament Must Reject Harper's Secret Policeman Bill," to wit: "Prime Minister Stephen Harper never tires of telling Canadians that we are at war with the Islamic State. Under the cloud of fear produced by his repeated hyperbole about the scope and nature of the threat, he now wants to turn our domestic spy agency...
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Arenas, Budgets and Pools! Oh My! “That’s a pie crust promise. Easily made, easily broken,” said Mary Poppins. The arena debate in St. Catharines lends itself to that quote. I am referring to the promise of closing down the aging and crumbling Gatorade Garden City Complex. The proposed budget for 2015 was recently released. The city of St. Catharines is looking at a 3.99 percent increase which includes harsh cuts across the board. Do not worry, the decaying, vermin-infested, albeit beloved, Gatorade Garden City Jack Gatecliff Rex Stimers Arena, which costs you and me nearly $1,000,000 per year to operate, will remain open. City council instead will close five outdoor pools, the Canal Centre and Museum, the Fairview Golf Course and cancel vital repairs and improvements across the...
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Dear Mr. Prime Minister, Thank you for coming to America. I am just a grandma from Goleta who can no longer stand idly by. I can see that the world today is a dangerous place and I fear for my children and grandchildren. It is apparent that we are on the brink of another World War, and yet, the U.S. is somnolent, lulled into an easy, yet unrestful sleep having been soothed by the deceptions of a narcissistic president who prefers to indulge in fantasies rather than lead, as you are doing. He has tarnished the reputation of our once great nation. America has suffered more than its share of foolish ideologies and misguided leaders, but these times are different, with decisions that will not only change the future, but determine whether or not there is a future at all. That is why, as...
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Dear Comrades, We write to express our solidarity with you in these trying times. Your country is burying a hundred or so dead, demonstrators and policemen, and hundreds more wounded are still in its hospitals. The specter of a civil war has not yet left Ukraine. While not the defeated party, most of you cannot partake in the joys of the victors. Euromaidan was hardly the ideal terrain for your struggle. Its contradictions divided you and those who did participate, were outsized by the Right Sector. We don’t say this in reproach: with a few exceptions such as the former Yugoslavia, Greece, and Turkey, the East European left is everywhere small, and everywhere divided over those strange but powerful social movement that have swept our countries in recent years, expressing the just...
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Dear Sir, RECONSTITUTION OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH AUTHORITY ( NYA) BOARD On behalf of the entire students and the youth of Ghana we write to your office to take a second look at the delay in reconstituting the NYA Board and to humbly impress upon you to do so in the interest of the youth of Ghana. His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama, we wish to bring to your notice that your further delay in this subject matter will subtly undermine your much tauted commitment to youth development. Since 2012 that the tenure of the current NYA Board expired, as per the NYA Act 1974 (NRCD 241) and as amended by (NRCD 300), no new Board has been formed with reference to section (3) of the NYA Act. Hence the Board as it in existence is an illegal entity; in spite of it claims as a caretaker...
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Dear Mr Mayor, I am writing to encourage you to bring the issue of future port reclamation back to the Auckland Council table. I have yet to change my vote. But like others I am calling for these matters to be formally revisited by the Governing Body in a calm and collected way with all the information new and old presented without fear or favour. Given the significant level of public interest, we at least owe that to Aucklanders. Like other councillors, I always do my best to represent the public while balancing the economic interests of our city and region. And I thought I was doing the right thing by supporting tightening up the old reclamation rules, but it's clear that's still not going far enough to reflect the wishes of the wider Auckland community. I supported...
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