I arrived home last night to find not one, but two MP mailings in my mailbox. Both came from Conservative MPs in other provinces.
I had to laugh when I saw Calgary MP Rob Anders's piece about ending the Wheat Board's monopoly on barley and asking who I think is on the right track for farmers. I live in Winnipeg Centre, which is neither a Tory target nor does it feature very many barley farmers. In fact, if the neighbours are growing any crops at all, I can bet you it isn't barley. Slick targeting, guys.
The other mailing, from Edmonton Tory MP Rahim Jaffer, features typical Tory-style incendiary statements on crime.
Both ten-percenters, as they're known, are outrightly partisan pre-election mailings sent courtesy of Canadian taxpayers (so much for the party of "fiscal prudence"). Each one ends neatly with a picture of a ballot featuring four political party leaders.
I have no problem with MPs sending out informational mailings nor even of some political party financing, but this is way over the top. Aside from the wastefulness, are Jaffer's and Anders's constituents not being ripped off where MP communications are concerned, as what would otherwise stand as information from their MP appears instead as crass political advertising in other provinces?
In the case of Jaffer, the only Alberta MP with a reasonable chance of being defeated in the next election (by the NDP's Linda Duncan), he might be wise to keep his focus a little closer to home.
In the coming days, as we approach an election call, I'm fully expecting to see planes flying overhead and blanketing the earth with a payload of Tory ads all courtesy of some faraway MP.