Letters to Editor
Jack Ramsay Dilemma
Although I agree with Ted Byfield in defending Jack Ramsay's decision to run for re-election (Edmonton Sun, June 18, 2000), I believe he misses a fundamental point.
Because of the publication ban, during and since the trial, on the full details of the 1969 incident and the identity and circumstances of the 45 year old woman in question, it is extremely difficult to obtain a clear picture of the whole issue. Nevertheless, from the information that is available, it is clear that Mr. Ramsay responded openly and generously when he was confronted with this incident from the past. When she approached him in 1998, first in person and later by telephone, he talked to her sympathetically and positively, rather than denying all memory of the incident. It is less clear that the RCMP investigators trying to entrap Mr. Ramsay were acting in good faith.
The 1969 incident, which the jury interpreted as "attempted rape", obviously had a profound effect on Mr. Ramsay and perhaps even contributed positively to his development as a human being. He became particularly sensitive to miscarriages of justice perpetrated against native people, expressed criticism of slipshod RCMP methods and evolved into a strong proponent of "law and order" as the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Crowfoot.
Both Ian McClelland and Mr. Byfield's lawyer friend are wrong in their interpretation of the issue. They may rest assured that show trials of Mr. Ramsay and Gerald Regan (the former erstwhile premier of Nova Scotia) will not restore the "credibility of the whole political system". The enduring lesson is that, if you have a conscience and openly confront your mistakes from the past, you will be penalized, whereas, if you develop amnesia and deny everything, you will be rewarded. In other words, lie through your teeth as so many politicians do, if you wish to succeed.
In my opinion, both justice and democracy would best be served if the constituents of Crowfoot were left alone to choose, or not, Mr. Ramsay as their Alliance candidate and their Member of Parliament.