As many as 20 Conservative MPs may be on the hot seat in the latest round of political shenanigans involving taxpayer-funded mail-outs.
This issue isn’t a new one as several NDP MPs got caught using taxpayer-funded mail-outs for partisan political bumf.
And, the issue has been around prior to this government. And yet, however, no government seems to do anything about it other than appoint committees to investigate and harrumph mightily when the other guys get caught.
The latest foofaraw is about politicians using QR codes on their mail-outs that, when scanned, lead readers to a politically partisan website. MP mail-outs, which require no postage because they come from an MP, are supposed to inform constituents about what the government is up to, not be used as a campaign tool.
While Cariboo-Prince George MP Dick Harris’ name hasn’t surfaced in the latest dragnet, it should.
I received his latest missive in my mailbox this week and I didn’t need to scan a QR code to get the partisan boilerplate.
In the mail-out Harris is extolling the virtues of changes to the tax code and how, according to him, the family tax cut helps.
Fair enough, explain the program, how it works, and how it will benefit constituents. That’s what the mail-outs are designed to do.
He even asks a poll question that isn’t even skewed to the answer he wants (tongue planted firmly in cheek, of course,) as Harris asks whether the government “should make the tax code fair for more families.” Respondents can answer “yes, fairness is important,” or “no, it isn’t an issue for me.”
Only closeted terrorists being radicalized by ISIS would vote against fairness being important … obviously.
But the part that got me was on the back of the mail-out.
After a bit of a dissertation on the family tax cut and the universal child care benefit, which is perfectly acceptable, Harris launches into pure partisanship.
“Only our Conservative government is dedicated to putting money back into the pockets of hard working Canadians instead of spending it on wasteful and inefficient bureaucratic programs,” he writes. “Instead, the NDP wants to implement a costly one-size-fits-all approach to child care and Justin Trudeau has vowed to scrap the family tax cut if he’s given the opportunity. Canadians can only count on the Conservative government to deliver real tax relief for families.”
If that isn’t partisanship, then nothing is.
Such comments are fine on campaign literature but have no place on taxpayer-funded mail-outs.