Blog /a letter to my mp

October 21, 2004 04:37 +0100  |  Society & Culture Why I'm Here 4

I've written, but not sent this yet. I'd like your thoughts. ...especially if they include typos, grammatical errors or better ideas:
Dear Minister Graham

Today I've chosen to do something that I think we can both agree is sadly lacking in our country these days. I'm taking part in our democracy by contacting my MP regarding something very important to me: The Canada - US Missile Defence Treaty.

Now I'm not a politician, a lobbyist, or anyone else who would stand to benefit financially from this agreement one way or another, I'm just a young man living in Toronto who wants to see more stability in the world, and fewer weapons... and I'm not alone. You know it and I know it, the majority of Canadians are opposed to assisting the Americans in re-igniting an arms race, so you must understand my surprise and outrage with regard to your continued and outspoken support for such a plan.

As I understand it, you and other supporters of this treaty have been offered a long list of reasons to move against it including the renewal of an arms race, an undetermined financial cost to Canadians, the likely lead up to the weaponisation of space and possibly most embarrassing, the fact that it would likely not provide much of a shield anyway. In response to all of this, you've only offered one reason for your support: that it might improve damaged relations with our American neighbours.

I understand that America is our biggest trading partner. I also understand that because of this, relations between our two nations are of great importance. But are you honestly suggesting that smoother trade relations are more important than reducing nuclear proliferation? I just can't accept that you, a seasoned politician and former Foreign Affairs minister, would believe something so ridiculous.

Besides, there are better ways to mend the rift that's grown at the 49th parallel. We have an excess of influenza vaccine which they need. We, as good neighbours should offer it to them at a reduced cost. We could donate some of our time, experience and technology in helping them develop better power generation, transmittance and storage on the East and West coasts. The American Mid-West has recently been running into a water shortage -- we could help them build better irrigation to improve the economy of states like Montana and Idaho. All these options are available without the risk of encouraging foreign research into weapons of mass destruction.

Canada has always been a sort of northern conscience for America. We've supported them when we felt it was right, and we've opposed them when we knew they were wrong. That, to me is what makes this country so great. Our sovereignty is what gives us the power to affect great change... even in a country as powerful as the United States. Please, if you're going use that power for something the majority of Canadians don't support, don't do it in my name.

I'd love to hear from you if you'd like to discuss this further.


21 Oct 2004, 6:11 a.m.  | 

instead of "That, to me is what makes this country so great" -how about rewording it to say: "These reasons make Canada such a great nation."

it's a little less awkward?

21 Oct 2004, 6:55 p.m.  | 

i wounldn't change a thing... i like it...

21 Oct 2004, 7:10 p.m.  | 

awww thanks chris. sorry noreen, i see where you're coming from, but i think that changing that line would change the tone in a way i'm not happy with.

23 Oct 2004, 8:56 a.m.  | 

whoa, what did you do? i can't see my name now when i type ...

anyway, your granny rocks.

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