Readers write

By , Dana Dickie, June Beckwith, Florence Paul, and Grant Hilliker

Outside Florida's political quagmire

With his Nov. 20 column, "Florida needs hand counts in this game," Dante Chinni has injected a measure of sanity in this raucous argument over the ballot count in Florida.

As a member of the largely unrepresented moderate center, I have grown extremely tired of the childish behavior of leaders of both our political parties. It's time to end this farce. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have a lock on virtue in the Florida recounts.

Recommended: Gore Vidal: 10 quotes from the legendary author

And, whichever candidate eventually is granted Florida's electoral votes, the country will continue. It's time for us all to step forward, take a deep breath, and move on!

Gary Hobin Leavenworth, Kan.

Columnist Dante Chinni sounds like a faithful liberal spindoctor when he writes that "It is also unfair to say Gore just wants to keep counting votes until he wins. The Gore camp thus far has simply followed Florida law."

The first statement is illogical. Would Al Gore want to keep counting, recounting, and re-recounting if he were ahead? Concerning Mr. Chinni's second statement, the Gore minions have already sought to disregard Florida law that requires use of the vote tallies turned into the Florida secretary of state by 5 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Moreover, the Gore minions have sought to disregard Florida law that requires the Florida secretary of state to certify the winner on Nov. 18 after the overseas votes are counted.

Dana Dickie Nashville, Tenn.

I don't understand the big deal being made of the Florida voting question.

If a section of the ballot is not clear to 25 or 50 voters, but perfectly clear to 1,000,000 similar citizens, why blame the ballot? Why not those few people? If it happened to me (and it has) I'd leave that question blank and proceed to finish the rest of the proposals. If I don't understand a question, I don't blame anyone but myself. We need to accept "where the chips fall" and stop the political wrangling.

June Beckwith Oak Harbor, Wash.

The circus going on about the election in Florida is nothing short of ludicrous. We here in California have very simple ballots. What I'd like to know is why we do not have standard ballots throughout the country for federal elections?

I have read about people who said they wanted to vote for Al Gore, but instead accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan. I'm afraid I cannot understand such behavior.

There are some things that should not be given to the individual states to decide, since we now see what can happen when a state government doesn't know what to do.

Florence Paul Santa Ana, Calif.

Sprawl chews up farmland

The Nov. 14 opinion piece "Rewarding farmers as 'stewards' " commendably advocates more and simpler incentives for farmers to practice conservation.

However, the piece makes no mention of checking urban sprawl. Here in central Ohio, we have a raging fight over the plan of US Fish & Wildlife to create a Little Darby National Wildlife Refuge in some 40,000 acres 10 to 20 miles west of Columbus, where developers already encroach.

The key proposal allows for voluntary purchases of lands in the refuge proper and purchase of development rights in a surrounding buffer zone. Many farmers, county commissioners, and bureaucrats are campaigning against a "big government takeover" of farmlands, despite visible evidence that farms are disappearing to the city.

Grant Hilliker Columbus, Ohio

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Due to the volume of mail, only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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