Recent letters to the editor, published in the Kingston Whig Standard, have revealed that most Kingstonians are upset with the recent taxpayer funded attack ads, that Conservative MPs Blake Richards (Wild Rose Alberta) and Mike Wallace (Burlington, Ontario) have been distributing in our city.
After 20 years of having Peter Milliken as our Member of Parliament, we're not used to seeing anything other than period newsletters that keep us up to date on changes, or provide direction should we have concerns.
He has never asked us to answer silly poll questions, nor does he use the mail outs for partisan attacks.
However, given that Brian Abrams will allow these men to abuse our tax dollars in this fashion, to save him a few bucks on his next election campaign, (especially during a period of economic uncertainty), gives us some indication of what to expect if he ever won this seat.
His sideshow barker, Hugh Segal, dismisses it by saying everyone does it. That's not true. And even if it was, how does that make it right? The Reform Party latched onto this loop hole years ago, but it has gotten entirely out of hand.
In 2002, when running for the leadership of the Alliance party, Stephen Harper accused Maurice Vellacott of abusing tax dollars to campaign for Stockwell Day. Soon after, Peter MacKay charged that Stephen Harper was abusing tax dollars to pepper his riding with trash.
Now everyone in the Conservative Party seems to have caught the bug, and if you search the net at all, you'll hear more complaints, but also learn some interesting strategies to deal with this.
If the government body can't see that this is an inexcusable practice, then we've got to take it upon ourselves to fight back. One gentlemen wrote across his 'Stop Wasting My Money A... hole!', before sending it back. I'm writing letters to the local papers and radio stations of the MP abusing his privilege, to let their constituents know that this is how they handle an economic crisis.
However, a local man, who was just as upset as I was; after his well deserved rant, offered another suggestion:
If you're going to campaign, call an election
July 3, 2009
On my way home, I stopped by my post office box. There I found a piece of mail that made me see red. It was from the government, and it represents, as far as I can tell, a massive abuse of the public trust.
It was a pamphlet that seemed to be trying to be a survey, asking who I thought was on the right track for Canada, with a little election ballot. However, most of it was a written version of the attack ads against Ignatieff, once again claiming that he was "just visiting." To make matters worse, to return this "survey" you just have to fold it up and put it into the mail - the "No Postage Required" on the stamp means that the return post is being paid for by Canada Post.
This is, put simply, an outrage. Consider the following:
1. This came "Compliments of Blake Richards, MP." My Member of Parliament is Peter Milliken. So, effectively, an MP with no portfolio is soliciting from another MP's riding.
2. This is an election campaign flyer - there is no question of that. But there hasn't been an election called. And this isn't the government bragging about its record - this is an attack ad flyer. This comes pretty close to libel, if it doesn't actually cross the line.
3. This hasn't been paid for by the Conservative Party of Canada coffers - this was paid for by Canada Post. In short, taxpayers are paying for the Conservatives to mail out attack ad flyers outside of an election.
This is not acceptable behaviour from public servants. Now, there is something that people can do about it. They can write to their Member of Parliament, and they can also write to the Board of Internal Economy.
Here is the list of its members. My fellow Canadians - I ask you, please write and complain. The only way that the Conservative Party will learn its lesson is if we do not remain silent, and if we tell them, united, that this will not be allowed to stand.
I responded to the frustrated Blogger:
I am just as frustrated as you with these damn campaign flyers being paid from our tax dollars. I live in Kingston as well and mine was from Mike Wallace in Burlington. I sent a letter to the editor of the Kingston Whig Standard and the Burlington Post. Both were published.
My son got the one from Richards so I've just sent off a letter to his local paper. Ironically, someone had already written one there, not about the attack ads but about other nonsense he's been sending his constituents that is nothing more than Conservative rhetoric. (they called it fluff)
Blake may have some explaining to do if they publish my letter as well.
If these guys want to come to my backyard then I'm going to theirs. We've got to start fighting back.
Back to - The Blake Richards Story: Shameless Self-Promotion