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Monday, December 12, 2005

The Liberals would *never* do this

In Friday's Vancouver edition of 24 Hours, there was an op-ed piece by a Braeden Caley (who is described by the freebie paper's editors this way--"At age 18, Braeden Caley is a well-informed youth as well as a member of the Young Liberals.").

Mr. Caley's grandmother, who lives in a Richmond B.C. riding, received a mass mailout postcard from Tory MP Rob Anders that annoyed Mr. Caley to no end.  It includes a photo of a masked man pointing a gun at the reader, and invites readers to write Mr. Anders about their opinions about crime (while delivering a message that the Liberals are soft on crime).

"While most Liberal MPs had just finished sending holiday greeting cards, it appears Mr. Anders and the Conservatives were in more of a Halloween mood," Mr. Caley complained. "This was completely inappropriate and is indicative of the extreme lows Stephen Harper's social conservatives will sink in order to solidify their grip on political power. (sic)"

He then goes on to complain that Mr. Anders used his Parliamentary franking privilege to send the mail out to a non-Tory riding.

Now, complaining that MPs send politically themed mail is on the level of Captain Renaud being shocked (shocked!) that there is gambling in Rick's Casablanca nightclub. It's what they do. I live in Ujjal Dosanjh's riding and his latest  mailout to me just happens to emphasize what a swell job the federal Health minister is doing. A coincidence, I am sure

Perhaps Mr. Caley might have a valid issue in suggesting that MPs should not send mail outside their ridings, but that's something that his party has neglected to deal with in their 12 years in power. (I am certain that, as a well-connected Young Liberal, he must have brought this issue to the attention of  other members of his party.)

At any rate, I am sure that federal Liberal MPs would *never* *ever* use their House of Commons mailing privileges to send mail to Tory or NDP riding constituents. 

Can Shotgun readers, in their comments to this post, cite some examples of getting mail from Liberals who aren't their MPs? I am sure that Mr. Caley would be eager to write a follow-up piece on the Liberals' use of such a tactic to "maintain their political power" if we could cite some examples for him.


Posted by Rick Hiebert on December 12, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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What I would like to know is, what does "Mr." Caley think of the Liberal's "Gun in your face" ads from the last election.

I guess the liberals can dish it out but can't take it.

If Mr. Anders' ad shows how "low the conservatives have stooped', what does this say about the liberals (who beat the conservatives to the punch with this stuff over a year ago?)

Posted by: shawn | 2005-12-12 4:57:28 PM

This is an easy one. Ask anyone who's worked on the Hill or in a constituency office about "ten percenters". Directing a mailing to another riding is permitted under Commons rules, subject to specific guidelines, and ALL parties take advantage of it.

And that's one to grow on, Mr. Caley!

Posted by: Paul Canniff | 2005-12-12 4:58:09 PM

If I remember correctly the Libranos in the last election campaign had a TV commercial of a gun pointing straight at the screen as they called the cpc scary. This group of corrupt politicians must be put on the sidelines for our and their own good PMPM this morning starts again with the same sex marriage again trying to deflect the Income Trust and Beer and popcorn stories. Its time the voters realize that the CPC will not likely get a Majority so they could not pass any legislation that the majority of the house doesn't want.

Posted by: capt_bob | 2005-12-12 5:38:31 PM

I received numerous agit-prop materials from Stephen Owens (Vancouver Quadra) after the last election. I live in Coquitlam, James Moore's (CPC) riding and have never lived in Vancouver Quadra.

I returned them all with notes stating clearly that a) I didn't want their materials, b) not living in the riding I couldn't vote for him and wouldn't anyway, and especially c) that I resented their waste of tax dollars (they paid $0 for postage, of course). It took several returns but I think (hope!) they finally got the message.

Posted by: PM | 2005-12-12 6:23:30 PM

I'm not sure about the Liberals but the Dippers definitely do. In Regina Qu'appelle we have received mail outs from the Libbey Davies office.

They complained about the conservatives not showing up for the budget (first reading).

Posted by: Craig | 2005-12-12 8:41:11 PM

I have received mailings from the Government of Canada( the Liberal Party of Canada) telling me what a great job they were doing. Is that different?

Posted by: Speller | 2005-12-12 10:26:58 PM

I love it. A "well-informed" youth is complaining about someone using his Parliamentary franking privilege to send mail to a different riding. Personally, I'm more concerned about the government abusing their privileges to steal our money. But maybe I'm not as well-informed on the real issues as the Young Liberals.

Posted by: Alex | 2005-12-12 10:33:30 PM

Live in Ottawa, got Andy Savoy's (NB MP) franked mail. Every party does this, so it should be a ethical issue, not specific to an MP or party. On the other hand, it neutralizes the fact that incumbent MP's get to send franked mail 10 days after the writ, including christmas cards. At least when I have got Liberal mail in a non-Liberal riding, it did not have any reference to "homosexual sex marriage". Even the most hardcore partisan on this site (and for the record I carry a CPC card) should slap Rob Anders in the head for that one. What, does he like the opposition benches?

Posted by: Greggor | 2005-12-12 11:01:09 PM

I got some junk mail from David Emerson (L-Vancouver-Kingsway) although I live in New Westminster-Coquitlam where my MP is Paul Forseth (formerly Alliance, now Conservative and elected the last time by only 110 votes one of which was mine). I've also gotten some noxious emissions from the NDP, but all I ever see of them is Jack's death's-head grin on the front as they go into the trash.

Posted by: CJ | 2005-12-13 3:44:13 AM

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