2014, Politics, Society

An Open Letter to the Conservative MPs of the Greater Toronto Area

Have you no sense of decency?

There was a time when the Conservative Party of Canada was supposed to stand for accountability. That’s what we were told. The Liberals got complacent and corrupt and the Conservative Party would end the endless abuses of government spending and corruption. That’s what we were told.

And maybe we as voters have some reason to believe that you honestly meant this. This is the party, after all, which passed the Federal Accountability Act. Whether or not that act has been truly effective, the intent was, we were told, to root out government corruption and prevent something like the Sponsorship Scandal – the reason I will never Liberal federally again – from ever happening. But I guess that’s too long ago for you to remember.

The Fair Elections Act should really be called the ‘Rigging Elections Act.’ I’m not sure what problems it solves. (I am fully aware of what problems you claim it will solve but experts – yes, those dreaded experts that you hate so very much – can demonstrate these problems do not actually exist, except in your minds.)

But I know what it will do: It will substantially add to the number of seats the Conservative Party of Canada will win in the election. (Though with the way you are running things right now, that’s no guarantee of a majority; is this obvious, blatant rigging of future elections for the party in power really worth only 29% of the vote??? Seriously? What will it get you? A minority? Maybe? And then what?)

Your party claimed it was going to change things – that it would be both fiscally and ethically responsible. I am generally wary of such claims from any group of politicians, but at least one could argue that in the early days you meant well. Now, you’re not even bothering to hide the fact that you’re just as bad as the Chretien-era Liberals.

Actually, you’re worse. You’re openly willing to put your corruption down on paper in a piece of legislation. When criticized by practically everyone who has any right to hold an opinion on the subject of fair elections in Canada, you resort to evasion and doublespeak. The minister sponsoring this bill literally tries to tell us that ‘yes’ actually means ‘no’. And he does this in apparent earnestness.

I understand that not of you are truly so fallen that you actually believe that legalizing the rigging of the next election in order to try to save this sinking ship is actually a viable strategy. Sure, your base may not care about how corrupt you are – after all, at least your ‘conservative’, am I right? – but it’s not your base that won you a majority. It’s Ontario’s distaste of the Liberals that got you this election. And your changing our minds, pretty quickly. And I think many of you know this.

The problem is that this is Canada and we think there’s some kind of reverence for party discipline, even when that discipline makes absolutely no sense. I thought strong morals were a Conservative hallmark. I thought personal responsibility was a core Conservative value. How can you sleep at night knowing the effect this legislation will have? How can you tell yourself you are a moral, responsible person and support this bill? (I know how you can tell us voters that, but how can you tell yourself that? Do you really believe it?)

The time has come for you to do something about this, if you possess any integrity at all. The leadership of the Conservative Party is lost. They know you are in trouble in the polls and they know that their policies are not as popular as they thought they would be. (And really, they have always known this. Why were the robocalls necessary if your policies really are what Canadians want?) Your leadership wants to rig the next election but with the polls as they are, that won’t even save you.

If the bill does pass and you do somehow manage to get a minority government, what do you think will happen next? Is this law going to stand? Is a Conservative minority government going to stand? Is this really how you want this to end? In legalized corruption?

The time has finally come for you to do something, and I don’t see how there’s any other choice: you should break party lines and kill this bill. And you might even want to look deep into your soul and ask yourself if what Harper has been up to of late – covering up scandal after scandal – coincides with your values.

Is this what you want Canadian conservatives to be known for, electoral fraud?

1 Comment

  1. “Dear Mr. Haas,
    Thank you for contacting the Ottawa office of Roxanne James, Member of Parliament – Scarborough Centre by email on April 10, 2014.
    To provide the best possible public service to her constituents as their elected representative, MP James requests that you resend your original correspondence and include your:
    Full Name
    Mailing Address
    Telephone Number
    In this way, MP James will be able to best respond to your needs in a timely manner.
    Thank you for your email, your questions and concerns are important.
    Office of Roxanne James
    Member of Parliament – Scarborough Centre”
    Allow me to translate: “Mr. Haas, if you are not a constituent, I don’t care.”

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