The right to respond

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RE: “Richards in the right,” and “Apalled by Morneau, PM,” letters, Dec. 14.

Dear Editor,

First off, I would like to correct an error in my letter (Appalling behaviour, Dec. 7) – it should have read Andrew Scheer and not Jason Kenney.

I would also like to say the exchange thus far is a clear-cut example of democracy at work. If you don’t agree with something, you open a dialogue, have a debate and thrash out the merits of the issue. In a best-case scenario, both sides can come to some agreement or compromise; in a worst-case scenario, both sides agree to disagree and then move on. The point is, you are able to respond. Your responses were not shouted over, edited beyond recognition or left out of publication.

I understand the underlying level of frustration in the political arena. Conservative Albertans are unfortunate to find themselves currently on the sidelines, having neither a majority at the provincial level nor the federal level.

Yet, their elected representatives have a duty to voice their constituents’ interests, to the best of their ability. More importantly, they have a duty to find ways to work with the existing governments to advance their constituents’ interests. Earning respect from both sides of the aisle is necessary to make politicians effective.

Being removed from Parliament for behaving inappropriately does nothing to advance those interests. The justification that “they do it, so it’s OK if I do it too,” is a fallacy and a non-starter – you don’t respond to bad behaviour with more bad behaviour.

Thanks to everyone who wrote and disagreed, for helping me illustrate my point.

George Heng

Windsong

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