I'm pretty sure each and every one of you have received one of these tacky, juvenile mailings. Perhaps not this one specifically, but something like it, right?
I also know that it's not only Liberals that are upset by this waste of paper. I've read and heard countless accounts from Conservatives who are at once embarrassed and disgusted.
So, in reading this article, I was struck by the final line:
The rules for 10-per-centers allow for some partisan content but are not to suggest that an MP be elected, re-elected or defeated.
Really? That's the rule? Then why are these bloody things allowed to be distributed? I have many that actually have the image of a ballot on them. That seems like a pretty blatant 'suggestion of re-election' to me.
Federal opposition politicians accused the Conservatives Friday of using taxpayer funds to produce and distribute political propaganda, a charge the party denied.
But one of the Conservative MPs who sent out the mailing said the content was "simply the truth."
Brian Jean, who represents the Alberta riding of Fort MacMurray, said, "I don't think of it as an attack at all. I think it's providing information and my job is to inform Canadians as to what their options are."
I find it astounding that no one in the media has contested this now common assertion that both the 10 per centers and the ads on TV and radio, are just telling the truth. They are not!
Some of the old ones said that Dion would revoke the child subsidy program, tax EVERYTHING and increase the GST. The ones attacking Ignatieff are no better. Worse maybe, and they still have a ballot-like option on them.
Oh, they have been clever though. Those Con's. The ballot no longer reads vertically, but is horizontal and they don't say mark an x, but rather suggest that you check one of the boxes, but it's a ballot by any other name.
That said, I understand why the Liberals would be tempted to fight fire with fire:
One, from Neville's office, shows pictures of former prime ministers: Next to Brian Mulroney are the words "$42 billion deficit," while the caption next to former prime minister Paul Martin reads "$13 billion surplus." Finally, beside a picture of Stephen Harper are the words "$34 billion deficit." (Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has subsequently revised the expected 2009 deficit figure to $50.4 billion.)
While that actually is accurate, I still don't think the Liberals should go there. We can still get the message out using more traditional ten per centers.
I'd really like to see the Conservatives nailed on this. Not just to get at the party, but to change the tone in this country to one that respects our intelligence.
The article is a little light on detail concerning the complaint though. Where it goes seems to be anyone's guess.