Pop quiz. What does your MP do for you?
People all over Canada, depending on their MP’s portfolio, their community ties, and their record, will give you different answers. But I’ll bet you that not one of those people would say that their MP’s job is to play detective.
Enter Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Conservative MP (Peterborough) Dean Del Mastro. It’s no secret that their party is in the weeds right now. The CPC is under fire from the Opposition (official and otherwise) regarding Bill C30 and MP (Provencher) Vic Toews, the F-35 purchase, the Parliamentry Budget Officer’s scathing indictment of their fiscal practises, and, of course, the robocall scandal. The PM and Dean Del Mastro have been extremely clear: We’re not going to do anything about the issue. If you’ve got a problem, then you should find evidence to support your claims. We dare you to catch us.
The problem with this is that the CPC is the ones who would have the evidence, and, besides, Liberal and New Democrat MPs aren’t detectives. They’re not Elections Canada officials, either. They’re not the RCMP.
We need to get past this, and MPs need to emphasize their role in this. Keep hammering the CPC in the House, for sure. But we can’t worry about bantering over evidence, especially when the RCMP are still digging in Guelph and Elections Canada is fielding more complaints and going over records.
What we need is MPs who will slam the CPC for obfuscating. They’re already trying to slop blame around (ludicrously, I might add) before anything has stuck. And we need to demand that there’s an official public inquiry.
Further, while we’re clearing up MPs’ job descriptions, let’s clear up some other vocabulary. What’s being alleged in the robocall case isn’t “dirty tricks”–it’s voter tampering, or voter suppression. What the CPC refer to as a “clean” campaign involved pleading guilty to electoral fraud (the in-and-out scandal) and an attempt to steal students’ ballots from an advance poll.
There’s going to be a lot of mud flying between now and whenever this gets resolved. I’m asking people to keep their eyes open in spite of it. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with Elections Canada and any MPs that you can and request that the pressure be kept on, that investigations continue, and that the Conservatives are forced to play ball.
Don’t let the rhetoric put you off. We’re facing a death-spiral in terms of voter engagement. This is the kind of criminal gutter politics that cannot be left unaddressed. Remind our elected officials that they’re not CSI: HoC, but need to represent their constituents.. and that those constituents want investigation.
Paddle your own canoe, guys and gals,