Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Guelph By-election - With a little help from Kovach's friends

I realize that it's standard practice for political parties to bring in volunteers from outside the riding to help out with a campaign. But there is something that smells rancid about how the Conservative party takes advantage of rules that allow for free use of Canada Post for letters to MPs. As Scott Tribe has pointed out, there has been a flurry of flyers being sent by Conservative MPs to non-Conservative ridings under the guise of "polls". I seriously doubt it's coincidental that I received my third such mailing in under a month today (out of probably a dozen over the past six months), given I live in the riding of Guelph, which is in the midst of a by-election campaign. Scott has more on his blog, and it's worth clicking through to learn more about how this particular system is being exploited.

The dubiously selected Conservative candidate Gloria Kovach must be awfully greatful to have such support from her presumptive future seat-mates, and largely at the taxpayer's expense.

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At 6:05 pm, Blogger Mark said...

For a byelection the Conservatives have consistently publicly downplayed they are sure pouring in a lot of money.

Now we know why.

Much of it is our own.

At 3:48 pm, Anonymous Jesse said...


Not quite sure what your argument is here. The facts are clear, all the other political parties send out 10%er's yet you take issue with the Conservatives because they have effectively used the program to their advantage?

Garth Turner has stated numerous times on his blog that he sends out mailings and even used this program to promote his cross country tour last year. Does that not make you mad as well?

Being that everything is in order and the Conservative Party has not been reprimanded for sending out these mailings, I find it hard to see what the problem is.

Winning the by-election should be the priority of every party competing in Guelph.

Understandable if it annoys you because you’ve received a bunch of these mailings, but you cannot criticize the Conservatives because they have effectively done so within the rules set for every party.

At 3:53 pm, Blogger Matt said...


From my understanding, these 10%ers are not supposed to be explicitly partisan campaign material. The flyer that I received attacking Stephane Dion's Green shift said nothing about anything related to Conservative government policies. I don't believe that this was what this program was created for, and I would be happy to see either the party reprimanded for violating the program's rules, or the loophole closed to prevent these mailouts.

I receive one of these Conservative mailers every two weeks on average, and never receive comparable literature from the other parties. If I was receiving a deluge of comparable campaign literature from the other parties using taxpayer dollars, I'd be equally upset.

At 4:06 pm, Anonymous Jesse said...


Not sure where you got your information from other than the Mark Holland press release.

The material may not be what you'd like to see, but the issue you have is the fact that the Conservatives have effectively used the program to their advantage.

There is nothing stopping the other political parties from doing the same thing, on the same scale.

Politics often involves creativity and the ability to get your message out unfiltered to your targeted audience. The Conservatives seem to be doing this quite effectively.

Until they are told not to do this, I can only give the party credit for being ahead in the game.

At 4:10 pm, Blogger Matt said...

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree Jesse.

I think that using taxpayer dollars to send out partisan advertizing is unethical, even if it is legal (which remains to be seen). We'll see what voters think.

At 8:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im pretty sure the mailer i got was from duffering Mp but was solely about the liberals previoud laws that young affenders get away with anything then recieve a slap on the wrist. It clearly stated what Steven Harper did to rectify this which is what these mailers are about. Stop complaining its not the rules fault Guelph is going Blue this time.


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