Congratulations to Paul LePage and his supporters. It seems “meet and just” that northern Maine voters, responsible for the success of Mr. LePage’s election to the office of governor of Maine, have their way in this matter.

Mainers to the north frequently, I think, feel out-gunned by central and southern Maine.

Let us hope Mr. LePage will prove to be a blessing to our state.

Thank you to Gov. Baldacci for his good service during this hard time.

Loretta MacKinnon

Runoff in governor’s race should have altered result 

Eliot Cutler is to be commended for running a clean campaign. As a registered Democrat, I was dismayed to see my party engage in Karl Rove-style politics.

Beyond showing the drawbacks of negative campaigning, the lesson to be learned from Mr. Cutler is that independent campaigns are badly flawed. splitting voters three or more ways, independent campaigns give a minority the power to elect our officials.

Majority rule is the foundation for our democracy; it’s what gives our government its legitimacy. Would we accept a governor who won with 20 percent instead of 38? With six candidates instead of five, it could actually happen.

If Mr. Cutler had stayed within our two-party system he might well have won an outright majority. The winner, whoever it was, would have had a true mandate to govern and Maine would have been far better off.

Divided we fall. That, in three words, is the lesson from Mr. Cutler’s loss.

Marc Anderson

I have always thought that in a democracy elected officials should be supported by the majority of the electorate.

Tuesday’s election for governor demonstrates the need for runoff elections so that if no candidate receives a majority vote, an election is held between the two top contenders.

The easiest way to achieve this is by the using instant runoff elections, aka preferential voting, where voters rank the candidates in order of preference. This guarantees that the elected official has the support of the majority without the expense of holding a second election.

Since we do not currently have runoff elections Paul LePage won the election with 38 percent of the vote.

I hope Mr. LePage will remember that he did not receive the votes of almost two thirds of the people who went to the polls and that he was not given a mandate by the public to proceed with many of his proposed policies.

A month ago it was clear that Libby Mitchell and Eliot Cutler were splitting the vote. Imagine what would have happened if they had sat down and flipped a coin to decide who should stay in the race and who should drop out. I suspect one of them would now be the governor-elect.

Isn’t it time we adopted runoff elections so candidates are free to run without being labeled spoilers? Isn’t time for true democracy where elected officials have the support of the majority?

Mogens Ravn
Ocean Park

Hunters have better deal, even without Sunday 

I’d like to respond to Patrick Wolfe’s letter in favor of Sunday hunting in the Oct. 24 Maine Sunday Telegram.

Let me just put your words right back at ya, Mr. Wolfe. People are so busy with their 9-5 jobs that time in the woods is cut short because they only have a day a week (you say “to hunt”). Or you could finish that sentence with “they only have a day a week to walk in the woods, ride their horse in the woods, or walk their dogs, play with their children.”

Again, using your words, “With such a short season and shorter days it makes it hard to…” ( you say “be successful”). But you could also say its “hard to be able to enjoy the beauty of the fall woods because people are out there hunting 6 out of 7 days a week!”

“Opening up Sunday” would allow no time for those of us who want to enjoy the outdoors and are not hunting.

How is it unfair that hunters have six days a week, and non-hunters have only one day a week? I’d say you have the better end of that deal — not even to mention that you can go on property without asking permission if it isn’t posted. I can’t do that.

I’d like to think that you’d rethink your position on this one.

Doris Luther

Canadians are way ahead of us on regionalization 

I am replying to John Nichols’ letter to the editor (“Canadians smarter than we are,” Oct. 17). The writer states that regionalization of schools never works, and that the Canadians are smarter than we are because they have never bought into any part of the regionalization plan.

First, let me clarify that Gov. Baldacci’s school regionalization plan was about consolidating school administrative districts (superintendent’s offices) not schools.

The province of New Brunswick is roughly the size of Maine both geographically and demographically, being slightly smaller in both instances.

In a recent study I conducted on New Brunswick’s public school system, I found that they had fourteen school districts in the entire province. Maine currently has 179 school districts.

In New Brunswick, all school employee contracts are negotiated at the provincial level and the basic curriculum is also developed at the provincial level.

I believe it is quite clear that our Canadian neighbors have made a significantly better effort in regionalizing and streamlining their public school system.

David Driscoll

Not just coyote that’s driving deer from the north 

I enjoyed Deirdre Fleming’s article about the Libby Camps on Millinocket Lake very much (“Deer no longer thriving in the north woods,” Oct. 31).

Yes, deep snow and especially coyotes take their toll on our deer herd, but the main reason the herd has moved out of northern Maine is the near elimination of traditional cedar swamps.

As the value of cedar tree products increased, more cedar was harvested. Winter deer yards were in cedar swamps. The deer trampled the deep snow and they reached up to nibble their favorite food — cedar needles.

I have a summer home on East Grand Lake in Aroostook County. In the late 1970s, I planted cedar trees and hedges.

The cedar grew well and I kept the hedges trimmed. Around 2003, I noticed that the cedar had been eaten by deer during the winter. In 2006 I would see 15 or 20 deer when I went down in the winter.

It got so bad that one of my neighbors pulled out his cedar and planted hemlock trees because he read deer would not eat hemlock. Next spring, all the hemlock was gone. Starving deer will eat anything.

I pulled my cedar out in 2008 (they were all dead anyhow) and planted perennial flowers.

Elbridge Gagnon