Regarding the NDP satellite offices scandal, why are so many in the Canadian mainstream media allowing NDP Leader Tom Mulcair to play the wronged victim? I mean, Mulcair actually suggests that the old time political parties should not have the audacity to hobble the NDP?
Can you imagine if PM Harper ever accused the Liberals and NDP of ganging up on the CPC (as they actually did with the 2008 coalition) and hobbling their electoral chances?
I mean, if Mulcair is talking like that now before the 2015 federal election, can you just imagine the arrogance if he and the NDP were ever elected the government, even with a minority? Anyone who would question or criticize the NDP would be marginalized.
Need proof of that attitude?
Well, check out what Mulcair’s demeanor and behaviour was like at the parliamentary hearing on the issue of the satellite offices. The arrogance and dismissiveness just rolls off him.
Then, read this recent piece by Huffington Post columnist Althia Raj. She claims that by complaining in a YouTube presentation (www.payitbackndp.ca) about the taxpayer money the NDP have spent on satellite offices, the Tories are attacking the NDP.
Attacking? Inaccurate? Talk about mincing words. The NDP skimmed money out of elected NDP MP constituency budgets to pay for the extra offices! I mean, if the expenses were legitimate, how come there wasn’t an approved parliamentary budget specifically to pay for satellite offices?
Moreover, does Raj actually know the difference between parliamentary work and party work? Does she not realize that MPs are not allowed to have so much as a political party poster or party logo in a Constitutency office?
There is no blue, red, green or orange line here. Constituency offices are supposed to be 100% non-partisan because they are providing government services to all the people of the riding, regardless how they voted. Plus, those services — like passport and CPP disability applications — should only be provided via the staff of the elected Member of Parliament for the riding in question.
In fact, the only time satellite offices are allowed anywhere at any level of government in Canada, is when a riding is very large. Even in that case, the satellite offices are paid for out of the budget of the politician who was elected for that riding.
Perhaps because I was the Chief of Staff and EA for an Ontario PC MPP between 1995 and 1999, I understand exactly what should be going on within individual riding constituency offices.
I can’t imagine, for example, the Ontario NDP being allowed to have a “satellite” office down the street from Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Constituency Office simply because they claim the NDP staff are only doing Ontario government related work — work that only Wynne’s staff should be doing. And, yet, that is exactly what we are talking about, albeit at the federal level.
The crux of the matter is that far too many in the Canadian media are not doing Canadians any favours by treating the NDP and its leader with kid gloves — as though the NDP are perfect and unanswerable to the Canadian people for the taxpayer money they have spent on staff in satellite offices.