Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Poll: Canadians Say Rob Merrifield Broke the Rules

Rob Merrifield wasn't the only Conservative MP to break the rules by printing and distributing Karl Rove style campaign brochures, and charging them to taxpayers.

Peter Mackay reported Stephen Harper several years and recently Helena Guergis even charged us to help promote her husband's failed bid to run in the next election.

And newcomer Gail Shea distributed a newsletter condemning the Liberals, from THE FISHERIES DEPARTMENT! A department SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE RUNNING!

However, last election it was the pamphlet sent out by Rob Merrifield that garnered so much media attention, as an example of wrong doing.

Tory mailout seen as 'unacceptable'
Half those polled say MP's taxpayer-funded leaflet is campaign-style literature, breaking the rules
Sep 01, 2008
Bruce Campion-Smith
Ottawa Bureau Chief
Toronto Star

OTTAWA–A mailing blitz by Conservative MPs risks raising the hackles of Canadians, who say a new leaflet sent out by a Tory MP at taxpayer expense is campaign literature, a new poll shows.
Half of those surveyed say a flyer from Tory MP Rob Merrifield
(Yellowhead) pushing the Tories' law and order agenda is "unacceptable," according to a Toronto Star/Angus Reid poll.

The flyer boasts how a Conservative government will "punish drug pushers," "keep junkies in rehab" and "crack down on cross-border drug smuggling."

At the bottom, it shows a picture of a smiling Prime Minister Stephen Harper and asks: "Who do you think is on the right track on crime?"

MPs are allowed to print and mail leaflets at taxpayer expense to inform the public about parliamentary issues. But under the rules, those leaflets can't be campaign-style literature meant to woo voters.

Even some Conservatives aren't sold on their own party's tactics – 36 per cent of those who said they support the Tories thought the flyer was inadmissible; 47 per cent said it was admissible. Not surprisingly, 71 per cent of Liberal supporters found it inadmissible.

The Liberals have already filed a formal complaint with Commons Speaker Peter Milliken about the volume of literature being sent out by the Conservatives. (So did the NDP. I read it on their website at the time and they were correct in complaining)

In July, Liberal MP Mark Holland wrote Milliken arguing that the recent Tory mailings to people in his riding were campaign literature. Holland wants the Conservatives to reimburse the Commons for the mailings, which he argues are thinly veiled attempts to win voters.

Angus Reid Strategies conducted the poll for the Star Wednesday and Thursday. It conducted an online survey of 1,012 adult Canadians. Results from a survey that size are considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times in 20.

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