Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ten percenters hit new now

By now, we're all used to the so-called "ten per center" fliers we get in the mail, thanks to the virtually unlimited double-ended franking privileges, meaning one can send and receive mail free of charge, the Governor General and all Senators and Members of Parliament have. (The privilege is also held by the Sovereign, the Clerks of the Commons and the Senate, Parliament's Librarian and his or her deputy, the ethics officers and the other "officers of Parliament" -- including the Information and Privacy Commissioners, the Auditor General and the Chief Electoral Officer.)

The Liberals and the NDP are actually no less guilty than the Conservatives -- I regularly get fliers from all three federalist parties in the mail from out of town MPs. It's more of an annoyance than anything and they usually just end up in the recycling bin without even being read. They are also increasingly partisan and in many cases, outright misleading or take quotes from "enemies" out of context.
(They are called "ten per centers" because, besides the four general mailings per year to the homes in one's own district -- although there are many more, to be certain -- MPs are permitted to sent out letters or fliers, equal to ten percent of the households in the district they represent, to homes and apartments in other districts and there appears to be no limit to how many times this can be done. For example, if you have 50,000 homes in your district, say in downtown Toronto, you can send 5,000 fliers to homes in, say, a district in rural Nova Scotia.)
Many have called to change the rules, including banning mailings outside one's home district other than for correspondence from actual letters. But after yesterday's torture bombshell, the latest fliers being sent out accusing the Liberals of anti-Semitism sets a real low for the ruling Conservative Party. In essence the pamphlet in question praises Mr. Harper for boycotting the "anti-Semitic" Durban conference while pointing out that Michael Ignatieff once accused Israel of war crimes (but neglected to mention that Ignatieff later retracted the remarks).

On the second point, a war crime is a war crime. I have always and will always support the State of Israel and its right to self-defence, but Israel gets no special exemptions from international law simply because six million Jewish people were slaughtered during World War II. Not only that, it clearly states in the Mosaic law that one is to have the same law for citizens as for foreigners; therefore it could be suggested all countries are guilty of this sin. "The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 19:34, NIV).
On the first point, by being absent, one actually is complicit with any lies (real or imagined) that might be stated. If Harper imagines himself to be the latter day Daniel then he should jump in the pit and face the lions in the den and call them out.
I share Scott Tribe's concern that the Cons timed the release and mailing quite deliberately, to distract attention from yesterday's damning testimony. If Harper thinks we're that stupid or forgetful, or that we have short attention spans, he may be in for a shock. When the death camps were liberated by Canada and our allies, it was by soldiers and other armed personnel of all political stripes, all persuasions and all religions. We've seen the pattern of atrocities repeated time and time again since then and the vast majority of us simply do not stand for it.

A lot of us have very, very long memories; and, for those among us who are Christian, we will not stand idly by and watch as our Jewish brothers and sisters are dragged through the muck, not the least of which is MP Irwin Cotler. We will also not stand and be silent about innocent people, including Christians, being bombed out of their homes under the principle of "collective guilt." If this is how $10 million of the Parliamentary budget (really, our money) is being spent every year, then it's time for the Board of Internal Economy (the "Board of Directors" for the House, which currently has a majority of opposition members) to put an end to the paid partisan b.s. that comes from all parties, once and for all. After all, if I sent a letter like that using the free mail to my MP or a Senator, I could be potentially charged with libel or promoting hate. But because a Parliamentarian does it (and on my and everyone else's dime), it's protected by Parliamentary privilege. That is unacceptable.

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Rotterdam said...

Many Liberals are leaning towards Hezbollah. They have a pro Israel wing (Cotler, Kinsella) and a pro Hezbollah wing (Borys Wrzesnewskyj).
Ignatieff, who knows.

CanadianSense said...

I was busy looking but could not find your outrage over using H1N1 and our Aboriginals as props by the Liberals in your blog?

Can you provide the blog entry?

If you are going to pretend to hold a balanced view you should have blog entries to back up your outrage from the Liberals?

Please link any criticism for the Liberals in the PAST six months.

Your position on Pay Equity, how does it mesh with the Liberals in January 2009?

This is a matter of equal rights. It's as simple as that. Anyone against something as simple as the equality of men and women in the workplace does not deserve to even sit as an MP let alone be a Minister of the Crown.

I would expect you to call for every Liberals to resign for voting in favour for the CPC budget and passing those changes to Pay Equity you blogged against.

Anonymous said...

There's career politicians and chopping their salaries in half. A group known as Citizens for a movement to radically change California government, by getting rid of California Reform wants to make the California legislature a part time time job, just like it was until 1966.

L. Leon said...

I've been collecting Tory Party ten percenters sent to Whitehorse since September of 2009. I put a call out to Yukoners to give me their Tory Trash. A local bookstore agreed to let me put a special trash can in their foyer. By early January the collection numbered over 700 pieces of Tory Trash. People from other parts of the country sent me their Tory Trash. On January 28th, I opened my art show, "What is Trash" at the Cadence Gallery in Whitehorse. It featured a wall that I called "Stephen's Fire Wall- Do Not Play with Matches". There were also several collages, also using Tory Trash as a medium. Since we continue to be inundated with Tory Trash, (but no longer by Chuck Strahl or Peter MacKay), my art project continues. You can send your Tory Trash to Well Read Books in Whitehorse. It will go to a good cause. Or better yet, you could build your own original art project in your own community. You could also write a letter to Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House protesting this abuse of our tax dollars, sensibilities and forests.