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Nov. 22: Projectile versus pedestrian. Plus other letters to the editor

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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Projectile, pedestrian

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Re Hey Driver, Check Your Privilege (letters, Nov. 21): Although drivers who run red lights or ignore crosswalks deserve to be censured, we can't begin to solve this problem without acknowledging that far too many pedestrians ignore the rules and laws.

I am both a driver and a pedestrian. Daily, I see pedestrians who jaywalk, or ignore traffic signals, or enter intersections as the lights are changing, expecting drivers to stop in time to avoid them.

Part of the problem is that providing priority to pedestrians under the law has emboldened many to make inconsiderate or outright stupid decisions when interacting with 4,000-pound projectiles. Both driver and pedestrian need to behave respon-sibly and courteously, but when tragedy strikes, the pedestrian will always lose out.

Maybe that should give pedestrians (particularly those with entitled mindsets) pause – before they set foot onto the roadway.

Johan Lee, Toronto

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Distracted drivers by some estimates are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident. In my experience, that sounds about right for distracted pedestrians, too – and that's just the ones who, thumbs glued to phones, walk into anyone and anything in their way on the sidewalk, never mind the road. And don't get me started on the idiots who ride their bikes on the sidewalks while texting, including the one who nearly ran into the stroller with my daughter in it last week.

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Sarah Nguyen, Vancouver

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The real majority

Re The Way Forward – Or Not (editorial, Nov. 19): So, a supermajority is required to dislodge an electoral system that all too often gives rise to claims of "a mandate from the people" … on the basis of some 40 per cent of the votes?

Diane Duttle, Kingston

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More than 60 per cent of Canadian voters in the last election voted for reform. If you insist that "the people must be asked to choose" – again – then they must first be educated. Media have been woefully derelict in informing Canadians and analyzing the issue. Referendums presented to an uninformed electorate are bound to go with the status quo.

You want a "supermajority" – whatever that means – to show what electoral system Canadians prefer? How can you support the antiquated first-past-the-post system, which gives 100 per cent of the power to one party with less than 40 per cent of the votes?

Would you prefer that disenfranchised Canadians – the real majority – are driven to choose radical, Trump-style change if this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for reform fails?

Nelly Auster Young, Toronto

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The fact Canadians voted for parties espousing electoral reform only means they liked some, but probably not all, of each party's platforms. It in no way was a mandate for electoral reform.

Dan Ostler, Ajax, Ont.

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What peace? Where?

A Canadian "peacekeeping" mission to Mali cannot be "clearly explained to left and right, around the world, in Washington and at home" (Mali: An Obvious Choice For Internationalism – Nov. 21). What exactly is the strategic importance of Mali to Canada to warrant the potential sacrifice of Canadian soldiers?

What solace would the family of a fallen Canadian soldier take from a mission that allows Justin Trudeau's Liberals "to embrace do-gooding internationalism"?

Nothing the Trudeau government has offered justifies why Canadian lives should be put in jeopardy in Mali or anywhere else in Africa. Canadians are being misled that such a mission constitutes "peacekeeping" or "peace support operations." Most media reports suggest none of the places being considered has any peace yet to keep.

If we are going to Africa in order to establish peace, then the Trudeau Liberals should be honest and tell Canadians we are sending our troops to war. To say otherwise is disingenuous.

Paul Clarry, Aurora, Ont.

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Not charged

Re Women Feel 'Betrayed' Police Not Charged (Nov. 19): A year-long investigation into the stories of abuse told to police should not be dismissed as a trivial effort. Obviously, the allegations were taken seriously; does anyone seriously think, in this day of political correctness, if wrongdoing could have been proven in court, that some police officers wouldn't have been charged?

In 19 of 38 files, complainants were unable to identify a suspect. Demands for justice are empty if the accused can't be identified. This seems to me to be a minimum requirement if justice is to be done. Why did the other files not result in charges? I think the public should know why.

The call for a separate justice system for First Nations is ridiculous, but it would be useful to know what the victims themselves consider to be an appropriate form of justice, especially the ones who can't identify their assailant.

Brian Wilkes, Victoria

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Quebec prosecutors decided they could not successfully prosecute the cases involving police officers in Val-d'Or, in part because in 19 of 38 files, complainants were unable to identify a suspect.

Why is it that hockey players have their names displayed in big print across their backs, taxi drivers have their names, number and photos prominently on view in their cars, and yet police are allowed to remain relatively anonymous? Making it easier to identity officers would increase the public's ability to hold them accountable, and reduce miscarriages of justice such as just occurred in Val-d'Or.

Murray Angus, Ottawa

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Tough to say

Re Did Racism And Sexism Elect Trump? (Nov. 19): Yes.

Plus foreign intervention, last minute interference by the police, the decline of journalism and the rise of social media, voter suppression legislation, gerrymandered districting, an Electoral College designed to protect white southerners that now protects white mid-westerners, and the fact that the Democrats had already been in (albeit emasculated) power for two terms.

But the underlying reason is the total absence of real discussion about issues. The (fill in the blank) class are no more bigoted today than they were progressive in 2008. The media decided to make this a contest between the "two most hated candidates in American history" instead of dealing with the real differences between the parties on the issues.

No wonder the carnival barker came in first (or was it second)?

Phillip Morris, Mississauga

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If everyone who was insulted by Donald Trump in the runup to the election (women, Muslims, Republicans, Democrats, people of colour, celebrities, disabled, Hispanics, highly educated, media people, federal employees etc.) voted for Hillary Clinton, or didn't vote at all, how in the world did Mr. Trump get enough votes from old white men to become the president-elect? Maybe he was correct in his claim that the election was rigged. In his favour!

Jerry Steinberg, Surrey, B.C.

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