The Christmas Season is a time for family, friends and receiving a large number of e-mails from the Liberal Party of Canada. Regular readers will recall that I "joined" the Liberal Party as a so-called supporter last year. What this means in practice is that by signing up for the party's fundraising distribution list I get the chance, maybe, of helping to pick the next Liberal leader.
It is a power I promise to exercise wisely. I will think only of the greater good.
Being on the Grit spam list has been a fascinating experience. Typically my inbox is clogged with ads for Viagara and Chinese photo editing services. I have no need for either product. Yet the typical spamster is trying to sell me something. What is the Liberal Party trying to sell me? What's their pitch? After nearly two months of getting these e-mails I still have no idea. For years I've made jokes about the Liberal Party being about nothing. Their members were too afraid of taking a relatively principled stand and joining either the Tories or the Dippers. Apparently the joke is the reality.
We begin with an e-mail dated December 27th from Bob Rae. Or at least from someone who is paid to be pretend to be Bob Rae which is, so far as I am aware, the saddest job in the whole world.
Arlene and I hope your holiday season is filled with peace, love and happiness.
Well that's awfully kind of you Bob, or pseudo-Bob, whomever you might be.
With 2012 coming to an end, it's time to set our sights on 2013 and the opportunities the New Year will bring.
I could not agree more! On with 2013!
If, for you, that means taking advantage of the generous tax credit on 2012 federal political donations before the midnight, December 31 deadline, you'll appreciate having the following information at your fingertips:
Wait? You didn't just e-mail to wish me a Happy New Year? I thought the Liberal Party was about caring and sharing? And here you are Bob, or pseudo-Bob, hitting me up for cash? So soon after Christmas? Then "Bob"tells me this:
- Total you've donated in 2012: $0
- Suggested donation today: $5
- How much you could save on your 2012 taxes after this suggested donation:$3.75
I thought our friendship was worth more than money Bob. Apparently I was wrong.
Dejected though I am by the Bob's money grubbing ways, I always keep hope alive. Thankfully that hope was soon in coming from another more loving man: Marc Garneau.
One month ago I stepped up to enter the Liberal leadership race for one reason and one reason only: you.
Wow. I'm honoured Mr Garneau. Or is it Monsieur Garneau? I hope I'm not being culturally insensitive by asking that question. I'm kind of overwhelmed. I've never met you before and here you are saying in an e-mail that you are running for the Liberal leadership because of me. The first Canadian in space wants to lead the third party in Parliament because of little old me. What a country!
I stepped up because all across our country, hard-working Canadians like you told me they thought I could change the country for the better -- better jobs for our children, smarter investments in our people, and government and business working together.
Good to hear Marc. I work for an obscenely large and powerful company. I'm sure they'd be delighted to work more closely with government to obtain large subsidies and greater monopoly privileges. I do dislike having to compete in a free market and would strongly prefer it if the federal government would just kneecap the other firms in our industry. Your consideration is much appreciated.
I stepped up because we need a government that acts in our best interests - a government that will provide a prosperous future for all Canadians, a stronger, more diversified economy and a society where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
Everyone Marc? Even conservatives? Even roughnecks in the Alberta oil patch? Your veins flow with the milk of human kindness.
I stepped up. But I can't do it alone.
I'm getting an uneasy feeling here...
Take 60 seconds today and help me do the work that needs to be done.
With your $25 we can keep fighting for the Canada we believe in.
Damn. Always with the sales pitch. I thought we were friends Marc! I thought we were friends!
Right then, after reading that last e-mail, I was feeling kind of low. In the background some mournful jazz music was playing. I felt like walking alone in the snow. Just like Pierre Trudeau in 1984.
The next day, oddly enough, I got an e-mail from Justin Trudeau. Politics moves in mysterious ways. This e-mail did not, however, help me overcome my feelings of loss and rejection. Even his spam has a pompously phony quality about it:
I hope you've had a wonderful holiday season. I've had the joy of sharing the holidays with my wife Sophie and our two beautiful kids, Xavier and Ella-Grace. Now it's time to focus on where we're headed in the coming year.
I'm delighted that you have a beautiful wife and beautiful children. I'm thrilled that you live in a beautiful home which is visited by many beautiful people. This might seem an odd question, especially when confronted by all this incredible beauty, but what does any of this have to do with running Canada? You're asking me for money and so far as I can tell it's going to get spent on hair conditioner. Your father and grandfather were millionaires. I had to give my father money to buy a car. Go ask one of your trust fund buddies for money. I got work to do.
So does the Liberal Party. If this is the best they can offer their own "supporters" they'll have even less to offer the Canadian people.