You’ve got mail

by Aaron Wherry

The government that wants—on “principle”—to end the vote subsidy for political parties, finds a new way to use public funds for partisan purposes.

Conservative Senators are quietly using taxpayer-funded literature to target opposition ridings with a partisan crime message as the party gears up for the next election, the Toronto Star has learned. And at least one of the Senators sent the mailers out at the direction of the Conservative Party of Canada’s national campaign office…

By using the Senators to send out this kind of literature, the Conservative Party gets around the prohibition on MPs using tax dollars to send partisan messages to other ridings, which the House of Commons agreed must stop.




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You’ve got mail

  1. "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!"

  2. Thank God Harper didn't keep his promise never to appoint an unelected Senator, eh?

  3. Wait a sec… you mean the senators that Harper said he'd never appoint? Those senators? They're using our tax dollars for partisan purposes? That can't be right… the Conservatives were elected to clean up Ottawa and stop this nonsense, weren't they? This can't be right. Harper is principled. Somebody must have something wrong somewhere. I think we'd better just move on from this and get back to supporting the troops.

  4. And talking about adscam.

  5. This government has completely abdicated any moral authority it may once have had.

  6. At least Flanagan was honest in his musings about letting individuals purchase more and disproportionate influence.

  7. It is cute that we allow the Toronto Star to define what is and isn't a partisan mailing. This article along with the overwrought Layton/Chow expenses article tells me the Star's Liberals are growing increasinly worried about their party's prospects.
    I can't wait for the TorStar editorial praising the 5 Liberal MP's who accepted a trip to Paris paid for by a terror org as having been prudent by not using taxpayer dollars to travel to France.

  8. TIS A CONSPIRACY. ASSEMBLE THE FOIL HATS AT ONCE!!!

  9. It's part of their charm.

  10. Guess that alternative is having these sorts of groups continue to think that the only way that they can have their voices heard is by blowing things up. You are right, the silent treatment always gets us much further.

    Tell me, in your day to day life, how far do you get in resolving conflicts when you adopt the silent treatment strategy with either your boss, life partner of child.

  11. A sign of things to come should we ever move to an elected Senate. Elected officials are always going to be looking to the next election and how to keep themselves in office. Isn't the point of an appointed government house to get past that problem?

  12. The Conservatives never said they are against subsidies of political parties, just the transparent and accountable one.

  13. I wasn't condeming the Liberals for meeting with Iranian dispora groups, just their having accepted the group financing their trip. I think they should bill the cost to the taxpayers, because they where there in the role of MP's and it protects are MPs from being accused of accepting benefits from foreign interests. Which is consisitent with my implied critiscim of the TorStar article that was an out of context hit job on Layton & Chow. Nothing in the article suggested anything they had done was inapproriate or not a direct result of them undertaking their duties as MPs but it was torqued up to make it seem as though they where living large on at the expense of the taxpayers.
    My point was that the TorStar is so concerned with how NDP and CPC parliamentarians are spending taxdollars it would only be logical for them to praise the Liberals for not spending tax dollars when a foriegn interest is willing to pay.

  14. This is low level stuff compared to the Conservative Party's use of tax dollars to pay for their campaign ads. The new round of print and television ads and the http://victimsmatter.gc.ca/ website have cost about $6 million. Aid to victims during the same period? $4.8 million.

    Regardless of the largesse, these ads serve what purpose exactly? They present policies the Harper Government has failed to enact as having been passed, including those from bills killed by their own prorogation of Parliament. They show women and little girls and doe-eyed boys who are scared of crime (which continues to fall). We know the Cons hate facts and press crime stories because they know it moves vote (women with young kids, the elderly) and that they are more interested in stoking fear of crime than actually putting cops on the streets (where are those 2,500 new officers?). But is there any need for these ads? Is there some group out there that says victims of crime don't deserve support and/or justice?

    These ads are Conservative campaign ads. They serve no other purpose.

  15. Did the Liberals ever do this? If so, well then…
    If not, Adscam.

  16. No, no, no….

    I think its usually "AAAAAAAAAAD – SCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM", is it not?
    Sometimes you just gotta split that hair…. ;)

  17. These aren't the droids you are looking for. Move along…

  18. why does an appointed Senator need to mail anything out to any Canadian?

  19. Because a donation of $1,000, $100 or even $50 is all that stands between you and a ragtag gang of pirates/evil separatist coaltion/rising tide of crime.

  20. Was hoping that the Star article would link to an image of the mail-outs. It does not.
    I must admit, only once have I ever been the recipient of this type of "fear-mail", and it was pretty slimy.
    I'm curious just how low they sunk with these ones…

  21. Indeed. What a disgusting strategy – to erode and destroy one of the useful things of an unelected senate.

  22. Don't they come pre-assembled from a warehouse on Lancaster Road in Ottawa?

  23. Myself, I'm partial to the Harper Government ads which teach me and other children all sorts of cool drug lingo.

  24. Doug Finley: public paid licking, one letter at a time.

  25. Er…I was talking to my nephews recently and they laughing about the cool drug lingo on the ads. Turns out it's about as accurate as Drag Net or Dobie Gillis.

  26. I live in a riding next to Vic Toews and close to Bezan's. I haven't seen the senator's fear mailing, but I've seen enough that I have a pretty fair idea what it would look like: Hokey, over-blown, and full of lies and distortions.

  27. I could imagine what it would look like too – but would still like to see it.
    The one I did receive was part of the "Just Visiting" propaganda campaign.
    I was amused by the use of fear and intimidation to get people to pony up info and donations.

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