As regular readers will recall last month I became, purely in the interests of citizen journalism, a "supporter" of the Liberal Party of Canada. Over the last few weeks I have been inundated with e-mails from the great and good of the former Natural Governing Party beseeching my humble assistance - i.e. money - to sustain the Big Red Machine. I have so far demurred but, as a dutiful blogger, I feel compelled to reveal to my many dozens of fateful readers what passes for spam in the modern Liberal Party.
I know you're excited. Just put the coffee down. This might be dangerous for both of us.
First there was an e-mail from Kirsty Duncan, who according to the signature line is the environment critic for the party. I've never heard of her and I suspect most people even in her riding couldn't tell her from the cleaning lady. Still, she seemed compelled to send me an e-mail that asked:
Everyone comes to politics for a reason – what’s yours?
Well Kirsty, the reason I'm interested in politics is for much the same reason that farmers are interested in wolves and locusts. I feel my property and years of painful toil slip away every time I hear an elected official open his or her mouth. And those are the politicians I like. You don't wanna know what I think of Liberals. I can't repeat my opinion of NDPers in mixed company.
Maybe you got fed up watching your tax dollars being wasted as you struggle to save. Or you wondered why gas prices keep going up while after inflation your income keeps going down
Maybe a loved one had to wait too long for surgery. Or you realized you needed to speak up for our environment.
And the Liberal Party will do what about any of these things? Gas prices keep going up because the supply is limited by silly environmental restrictions on extraction and refining. Will you call for their repeal? Inflation keeps going up because we abandoned the gold standard and replaced it with the Smart Guy With A Ph.D Will Know What To Do standard. As for waiting too long for surgery, I'm guessing the Liberal Party will not soon be distancing itself from its half-century prostration before the alter of Tommy Douglas. Until you do there is no way in hell that the quality of Canadian health care will significantly improve. When you've regained your senses, drop me a line.
A few days later I received an e-mail from Bob Rae, my former premier.
Most people don’t realize how powerful their actions can be.
But growth, hope and opportunity starts with individuals like you doing small things that engage a lot of Canadians.
Here are 5 easy things you can do right now:
Like us on Facebook;
Follow us on Twitter;
Watch and share our Youtube video: “I’m proud to be Liberal”;
Read, comment on and share our Liberal.ca blog posts; and
Take either of these next steps: become a Liberal member and enjoy full benefits or donate $4 – just $1 after your tax credit – to the Strong Start Fund to introduce our next Leader to Canadians in 2013.
Together, Richard, it’s the only way we’re going to change Canada.
Interim Leader - Liberal Party of Canada
Seventy years ago the Liberal Party was leading Canada through the Second World War. Thirty years ago it was patriating the constitution. Twenty years ago it was taming the deficit. Today its leader is asking to be "Liked" on Facebook. From power to pathos.
A few days later, perhaps because I failed to "like" the party, the Bob sent me another e-mail:
As we finalize our 2012 holiday card list, my wife Arlene and I want to do something special for you.
We'd like to mail our holiday card to anyone who gives to the 5,000 Wishes for Canada Campaign before our midnight, December 12 deadline.
You may have heard we're asking donors to make a wish for Canada so we can add it to a holiday card for the 2013 LPC Leadership candidates.
That way you can let the one person who can make your wish for Canada come true know you've got their back.
Here's my wish. I want to be able to hand over a strong, united grassroots-powered organization. A Party with the resources it needs to introduce our new Leader to Canadians on our terms and win the next federal election.
So far 174 Liberals - including 78 courageous first-time contributors -- have shared their wish for Canada. It would mean so much to Arlene and me if you were among them.
Please give $5, just $1.25 after your tax credit, and you'll have done your part -- and we'll send you our holiday card:
Something special from the Bob? How about an abject apology for your time as Premier? No?
5000 wishes for Canada. Hmmm. Was that number chosen because it's the remaining number of paying Liberal Party members? Just asking.
Why is someone "courageous" because they donate to the Liberal Party? In some Third World hell-holes supporting particular parties, especially those in opposition can be a very brave decision. People can get killed. I rather doubt anyone in living memory has gotten beaten up for placing $10 in the Grit party coffers. And my reward for giving to the party is a feeling of being "courageous" and getting a Holiday Card - never let the word Christmas pass your lips - from the most disastrous Premier in Ontario history.
I begin to understand why these people aren't in business. Their sales pitch sucks.