It’s about time someone addressed Canada’s unfair first-past-the-post voting system, as Andrew Coyne does in “Minority Rule by Any Other Name” (October). A change to proportional representation would give us voters the sense that our ballots count for something—if only we could get all three major parties to make implementing it a priority.
Coyne’s essay in protest of the plurality voting system is well-intentioned, but it fails to address the single greatest barrier to democratic reform: namely, that changes to our electoral system must be made by those elected under it.
Great piece by @acoyne in @walrusmagazine on the perversity of First Past the Post and disenfranchisement of millions. #elxn42
— Doug Blackie (@DougBlackie) October 10, 2015
Food for Thought
Kudos to Sasha Chapman for calling Canadians out on our wasteful ways (“Laying Waste,” October). As an unrepentant dumpster diver who routinely finds unblemished loaves of bread, boxes of cereal, and fresh produce to stock my kitchen with, I can report that a growing number of people are addressing the issue of food waste head-on. I see them at corrugated-steel “grocery stores” all over town.
Thank you for an entertaining and well-written piece on food waste. I’m glad to see this discussion enter the mainstream. After all, the first step to recovery is admitting we have a problem.
Reading a @walrusmagazine article about how much food is wasted before it even gets to the grocery store, let alone our tables. Disturbing.
— Leslie Robinson (@lwrobins) September 30, 2015
John Lorinc rightly notes that school board trustees are often guilty of using the position as a stepping stone to higher office, of failing to declare conflicts of interest, and of various other political misdemeanours (“Class Dismissed,” October). But these problems are not unique to trustees, nor are they reason enough to abolish the elected office. Despite the behaviour of a few bad eggs, trustees understand the needs of their schools and students in ways that provincial bureaucrats cannot.
Plenty of websites can produce every possible anagram of a given phrase. How convenient for Susan Holbrook, the author of “What Is Poetry” (October), which is neither a poem nor the definition of poetry it purports to be. In fact, it is nothing more than a list of twenty-one anagrammatic iterations of its title, slapped together without wit or cohesion. It fails utterly to demonstrate what poetry is, although it’s a great example of what poetry isn’t.
Susan Holbrook's poem "What Is Poetry?" in this month's @walrusmagazine is fantastic. My favourite answer: "a wisher potty."
— Stewart Cole (@stewartjcole) October 7, 2015
An essay in the November issue set the record straight about the origins of Winnie the Pooh’s curious name—so it’s unfortunate that The Walrus got it wrong when it came to the origins of Edmonton’s derisive sobriquet, Deadmonton, just a few pages before (“Deadmonton Rising,” November). The name was not, as reported, bestowed upon Alberta’s capital by the surly British media in 2001. It was used at least five years earlier, in the classic Canadian mockumentary Hard Core Logo.
Susan Peters’s article “Cub Scout” (November) incorrectly stated that a polar bear orphanage in Winnipeg is the first of its kind and the only one in the world. In fact, there is a similar facility in Cochrane, Ontario. The Walrus regrets the error.
This appeared in the December 2015 issue.