It’s said that all politics are local, although with Harper’s decision to break the bank (our bank) with a long campaign and a lot of national advertising, maybe that’s just a quaint thought.
Let’s split the difference and put it this way.
Voters do not ask of the candidates: “What have you done for the country?”
What they really ask, is: “What have you done for me? ME!”
At this point it looks like no one will have a majority.
With things that close, maybe what they have done for their constituents at the local level will be a deciding factor, at least in some ridings.
I live in a rural area of the Central Okanagan. When I landed here two-plus years ago, there was no mail delivery.
There was a community mail box 800 metres away, across what passes as a main road in this area.
This was the equivalent of living on the wrong side of the tracks, although there are at least a dozen people living near me on this side.
Canada Post told me those boxes were full and I’d need to rent a Canada Post box at the nearest office, 20 minutes away. Just like all my neighbours must.
What? It’s not like we’re living under a bridge. How could any Canadian be denied reasonable and free access to their junk mail?
So I emailed my MP, Conservative Dan Albas, asking for his help.
Albas replied within a few hours. Not a form letter but a direct response to my request.
Here’s the kicker:
My email and his reply were both done on July 1 last year.
Albas was in his office working — and working for the constituent ME! — on a national holiday.
(I also copied my Albas email to Conservative MP Ron Cannan. Even though I only neighbour Cannan’s riding, he offered to help. Credit to Cannan.)
Three days after the Albas email, I had a call from a woman at Canada Post.
I was told they would bring in a new, small arrangement of community boxes, and locate them conveniently for me and my handful of neighbours.
I can now see them from my window, all new and shiny.
(It also should be noted that this happened before my mug began appearing on this site.)
Last week I reported on Harper giving the U.S. government the right to snoop into the tax returns and bank accounts of at least one million — maybe four million — Canadians who have dual citizenship.
That poisonous agreement is now being taken to federal court as a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I have a personal, family, interest in this issue so for the first time, I sent a column to a politician and asked him what he thought about it. Also suggested it was a pretty good campaign issue.
I didn’t send it to the Liberals. Justin is cute as a button. However, one suspects he also got his mother’s intellect.
So I sent it to Thomas Mulcair last week.
I have received a form letter back. Thomas signed it “Tom.”
I know Tom is busy these days but he should at least have staff who can reply to an issue about Harper selling out Canadians to the U.S. tax service.
No direct reply yet.
Tom, I’m waiting.
— Chuck Poulsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.