to the Editor

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Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Look at candidates' records, not hype

What have the three major congressional candidates actually done to show us how they might effectively represent us on the national level? Ed Case was once the House Majority leader but couldn't retain support for that, so he quit.

Matt Matsunaga has never had a leadership position, despite being in politics for 10 years.

Colleen Hanabusa served as Senate vice president, co-chair of the Ways and Means committee and is now the Senate majority leader.

Don't be fooled by all the flashy advertising that always mentions Case's and Matsunaga's ties to the late Sen. Spark Matsunaga. Case says he's not of the old-boy network yet never fails to mention his ties with it. Matsunaga said that he didn't want to rely on his father's reputation, but one just needs to read his advertisements or go to his Web site to see that's not true.

Ask yourself, What have they, themselves, actually done, rather than just said what they want to do?

Send someone to Congress with demonstrated leadership ability. Colleen Hanabusa has accomplished the most, relying on her own abilities.

Wade Shimoda

'Approval voting' offers a much better system

We approach a potential travesty of the democratic voting process. On Jan. 4, with several candidates popular with various groups, it is likely that a majority of voters will have voted against the winner.

The problem is with the system. Plurality voting is fine if there are only two candidates; in any other case it is possible for a less popular candidate to win over a more popular one. It's even worse when there are several serious candidates, as in the upcoming election.

A much fairer system is "approval voting," in which voters may vote for as many candidates as they wish. Voters don't have to choose between two or more acceptable candidates or "waste" a vote by supporting a candidate unlikely to win.

Approval voting has many advantages:

>> It's fair. The candidate approved by the most voters is the winner.

>> Minority candidates also benefit, since popular candidates don't siphon votes away.

>> It's easy to understand. Voters already know how to vote for multiple candidates in a single race (school board, for example).

>> There are fewer spoiled ballots, since voting for more than one candidate is OK.

>> Current voting machines can easily be reprogrammed. The change would be essentially without cost.

For more information, please see the Web site

John M. Flanigan

Merger would have worsened isle travel

Governor Lingle and Congressman Ed Case made the right move by pressing Hawaiian and Aloha airlines to increase their flights to the outer islands, which they deemed were not profitable routes. The federal government should not have allowed the airlines to work out scheduling and other operations, which is tantamount to being involved in a merger. The arrogance on the part of the Hawaiian Airlines spokesman who said flights to the Big Island were not profitable because tickets were all the same price and the shorter routes made more money, and Aloha Air did the same thing; you talk about collusion.

This is just a small example of what negative things could have happened if a merger had occurred. The local people and economy, especially on the outer islands, would have suffered even more.

Steven T.K. Burke
Pearl City

Headline was unfair to American Muslims

It is the responsibility of news media to provide balanced and fair reporting to its community. Hence, news media must avoid stereotypes and alienating the communities it serves. I was a daily reader of the Star-Bulletin during my first visit to Honolulu, as I left all the worries of life behind to enjoy the beauty of Hawaii.

Unfortunately, on Dec. 22 I was agonized to read the headline 'Influx of Muslims to Cambodia raises concern about terrorism.' This misleading headline served only to perpetuate anti-Muslim stereotypes and alienate the Muslim community here in America.

American Muslims, along with Muslims the world over, have denounced the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Acts of a handful of extremists cannot and must never be used to smear all Muslims. Your headline was equivalent to suggesting all Catholics are terrorists because of acts by the Irish Republic Army.

Please make sure your editorial oversight in the future includes making sure feelings of your Muslim readers are not bruised or any stereotypes instituted or perpetuated.

Asim Mughal
Sunnyvale, Calif.

Lott controversy made both parties look bad

Regarding the Trent Lott controversy: As a registered Libertarian, I view with interest and disappointment how the Democrat Party exploits the race issue at every opportunity, and how the Republicans are stupid enough to allow themselves to be exploited. Neither party deserves to function in the leadership role of this country: the Democrats for being more interested in perpetuating their political manipulations, and the Republicans for being so stupid!

Surely everyone has at one time or another made a good-natured comment that could be twisted into a different meaning. The Democrats have that ability down to a science, and the Republicans don't seem to have a clue. How does that ability to cause friction within the country help Americans?

Is your welfare as an American citizen really considered as these two major parties play their political games?

Doug Rodrigues
Sparks, Nev.
Former Hawaii resident

Humor shines light on these dark times

I enjoyed the letter from the writer wondering if the vegetarians have murdered Christmas trees (Dec. 29). That was really clever, and he did make a good point.

In this world where there is so much pain and fear, it is a nice relief to read something humorous, although sarcastic, to lighten our lives.

Emma Howard
Vegetarian for 35 years
Owner of a few Christmas trees

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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