Dual nationality provides voting perspective

James Edwards's opinion piece and criticism of dual nationality seem naive ("Dual nationality insults faithful citizens," June 12). Having been born in the US to Canadian parents, I carry citizenship for both nations. Although I grew up in the States, I studied my undergraduate degree in Canada and took on residence there for the first time (while still being considered a US resident). I proceeded to vote in a Canadian federal referendum only a month before voting absentee in the US elections. Now living back in the US, I am eligible to vote for another couple of years in Canada.

What Mr. Edwards misunderstands is the benefit of vision accruing to a dual citizen. Duals gain a broader perspective which can help them in deciding how to vote - whereas the vision of a "local" voter may be quite circumspect. I like to think that my unique experience with both countries allows me to better understand what each individually needs.

Howard Fienberg Washington

Too bad James Edwards has no idea about which he writes when he declares that former Mexican citizens can now vote by absentee ballot in the upcoming Mexican election. Besides, they must be Mexican citizens, not nationals, to vote. And, if they live in the US, they must vote in their home Mexican polling place, or vote at special federal voting kiosks inside the Mexican border. There is no such thing as "absentee ballots" in Mexican elections, none. Those who apply for "dual nationality" cannot vote in Mexican elections, for "dual nationality" is mostly about owning property in Mexico by former Mexican citizens. It certainly is not about voting. However, there are people who can vote in US elections and that of a foreign country. Israel comes to mind. Mexico does not.

Raoul Lowery Contreras San Diego

Where are all the college men?

Regarding your June 12 editorial "Grading US education": You cite a US Department of Education report concluding that the overall picture is hopeful: "Young women are now nearly 60 percent of the college population."

How can that figure be hopeful for future numbers of college-educated men? A "take home" lesson for high school males: Forget the dreams of becoming a sports star or rock singer and get to work learning math and communications and social skills.

W. Matell Bridgeport, Calif.

Outback history

Regarding your June 9 article "Australian outback wears a deserted outlook":The article should have mentioned that the inhospitable nature of outback Australia arises from the fact that eons ago it was a sea-bed.The Tanami Track, used mostly for commerce, not tourism, runs across the Tanami Desert.But its sparse population shouldn't be described as iconoclasts.They don't "attack" traditional principles and laws. They are people who have chosen to adapt themselves to the isolation away from urban living.

Ronald G. Walker Queensland, Australia

Liberals try to control our thoughts

Regarding Godfrey Sperling's column "What it took to report on Joe McCarthy" (June 13): I'd say that the past 20 years have been equally frightening. Except now it is the conservatives who are being persecuted by the liberals. Political correctness is little more than thought control. Thoughts that the liberals do not like are not allowed. While Mr. Sperling recalls the "character assassinations" of the '50s, it is worth remembering what happened to the characters of Dan Quayle, Newt Gingrich, Kathleen Willey, Linda Tripp, and Ken Starr. Little has changed from the '50s, except now the shoe is on the other foot.

Elsbeth E. Nauss Chicago

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