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Ujjal Dosanjh

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Dr. Kellie Leitch, Won't You Help Canada With a Test to Keep Idiots Out of Politics?

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Dear Kellie Leitch

I was intrigued by your plea for people to" understand that I do have 22 letters after my name, I am not an idiot." You subsequently clarified the number was 18 not 22, but that you were still not an idiot. Initially I resisted the idea of publicly writing to you. I thought the busy schedule of your leadership campaign might not permit you time to read my missive; and I had a hard time figuring out how to frame it. After all historically it has never been easy to detect idiots in politics or to resist their allure. And sometimes they prove to be really dangerous too. Adolf Hitler had started out as a democrat. Look at our neighbours to the South. They are stuck with Donald Trump, at times a Democrat and then a Republican, who won the presidency despite his outrageous public and private conduct. In Trump's case, there is still hope, admittedly a faint one, that after the inauguration he might change his modus operandi; although I am not holding my breath for it.

Now I must tell you that I have served as an elected politician at both the Provincial and the Federal levels--not that it qualifies me to say anything or that anyone would care to listen. I am now retired from the various public offices I held over the years; and that might lead some to believe I may have lost all my marbles. Marbles or not, I write this letter as an ordinary Canadian in a spirit of seeking wisdom from you.

Upon reading your comment I had begun to wonder how many letters one needed at the end of one's name to be idiocy proof. Of course I didn't know. All I knew was that my parents and grandparents didn't have any letters at the end of their names and yet they were decent, compassionate, fair and wise human beings. My late cousin who was one of our elders had never been to school. But he was a smart, wise and wonderful human being. My siblings have no university degrees to their names and yet they have given me immense love and affection all my life. All my children seem to be decent human beings, as they were even before they obtained any university degrees. I have best friends whose names carry no letters behind them. My wife too has a couple of degrees but I believe she would have been as loving, strong and intelligent even without them.

So you see, your comments had made me question my life experience of lots of degreeless and title-less people being great, bright and humane, and lots of men and women with degrees and titles being disconnected from reality, rude and clueless. I started worrying about myself. I began searching and adding up the letters that could be written at the end of my own name. All I knew was that you knew you weren't an idiot. And if the number of letters I could write behind my name were not close to yours I may not make the cut off point for being idiocy proof. I collected and counted all the letters I could place at the end of my name. They were fewer than what you had. I was extremely worried. Then I suddenly remembered I also had an honorary doctorate bestowed upon me once. Following your description of the letters appended to your name in your profile, I thought I could write myself as: The Hon. Dr. Ujjal Dosanjh B.A., LLB, P.C., Q.C., LLD (Hon). But I was disappointed to discover that it would be wrong and pretentious of me to call myself doctor based on an honorary degree. That reduced my letter count by two. I was saddened but in the end I decided to focus just on the letters behind the name- as in your contention. The Prince Arthur Herald [Herald] in its story on your remarks counted 16 letters behind your name, two less than the 18 you claimed in your correction, but frighteningly for me, one more than the 15 behind my name as written above, leaving open the possibility that I could be an idiot, because I feared the cut off point for not being an idiot might be 16.

Not knowing what the actual cut off was, if there was any, I wanted to have at least as many letters behind my name as the Herald had said you had. I hurriedly started doing some research. Being no authority on these matters, and my degrees being useless in this regard, I turned to Google--the most reliable source of all knowledge. According to Google it is erroneous to write "honorary" for an honorary degree; so writing LLD (HON), as above behind my name, is wrong. The proper way to describe an honorary degree behind one's name is LLD ( honorisa causa). I was immensely delighted; now the letter count behind my name was definitely higher than yours; B.A., LL.B., P.C., Q.C., LLD(honorisa causa) meant 25 letters behind my name, at least 9 more than the Herald believed sit legitimately behind yours. I was safe. At least by your standards, and now in my own mind, I was in no danger of falling into the idiot category

But Dear Ms. Lietch, I know on many occasions in life I have been a complete idiot, though it is another matter that often my ignorance has protected me from this scary but very human truth--the human idiocy. But I had always thought being an idiot had nothing to with the letters before or behind one's name. Your words have now caused turmoil in my tiny cranial cavity; it aches. Do let me know what the letter count is for the cut off below which one is an idiot, and above which one is not.

Ms. Leitch, I am aware that you are developing a screening test of Canadian values for all immigrants before they enter Canada--something with which I disagree. But your skill and brilliance in crafting screening tests could be of great public service to Canada in the matter of idiocy. You see, based on your claim of not being an idiot because of the number of letters at the end of your name, your are eminently qualified to put together a test for screening the current and aspiring Canadian politicians for idiocy. Surely it will be good to bar idiots from entering the political arena. Please do it. Canada would forever be indebted to you.

Waiting to be indebted forever!


Ujjal Dosanjh

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