There has been a growing concern and anger over the abuse of mail outs, especially ten percenters by Members of Parliament.
I don't know if this was a problem before the Reform-Conservatives took power or not, but I had never received any before this year.
I live in the Liberal riding of Peter Milliken and he certainly never sent out any of this nonsense.
However, since the Conservatives are targeting this riding for Brian Abrams, I've had nine; each one more ridiculous than the last.
However, I must admit that this one by MP Tim Uppal takes the cake. It wasn't sent to me but a blogger in his riding, who claims to be getting these things on a weekly basis.
A Karl Rove tactic is to use key words. Things that will grab the attention of the reader and plant seeds of ideas. Also name association goes along with that. I remember another one with a question that went something like 'Do you support a Michael Ignatieff coalition with the NDP and Separatists'. Aligning 'Ignatieff' with 'coalition' and 'separatists', was more important than any answer to the question.
Logically the question should have referred to Ignatieff/Layon/Duceppe or Liberal/NDP/Bloc. But these aren't about logic.
If the Party was paying for this I wouldn't care what they asked. They go in the recycle bin anyway. But taxpayers are footing the bill for these, and it's got to stop.
And since I helped to pay for this one, I'm allowed to critique my purchase.
Full size for the face of this is here.
Right off the bat, I have issue with the headline 'Separatists Want to Legalize Euthanasia'. Why is this a separatist issue? Is there some kind of suggestion that they are trying to kill off the rest of us? As silly as that sounds, you have to wonder. Remember the old Reformers back in the day were involved with APEC, and harboured some animosity toward Quebec.
It's called playing to your base.
It certainly worked during the Parliamentary crisis of 2008, when Harper pulled out the 'separatist' nonsense to save his job.
The rest just provides the reader with the feelings of Mr. Uppal toward the issue, and though he had a misprint calling it Bill C-484 and not C-384, it was no big deal. He also asks his constituents whether or not he should support the bill. Fair enough. However, it's pretty clear that he had already made up his mind.
Then we go to the back, the full size of which is here.
1. Do you believe all life is sacred and should be cherished?
It would be pretty hard to answer no to that, though I suppose if this was a question about the death penalty, some people might feel inclined to answer 'no'. Kind of a silly question, but I'll bite and answer 'yes'.
2. Do you agree that it is not the government's place to support ending life?
Very leading question. On the front he asked for input, but he's clearly providing the answer here. However, since the government can send us to war, and former General Rick Hillier claimed it was our military's job to "kill people" I'm not sure what he's looking for.
Although support ending life could also be an abortion issue, so I suppose I'll have to abstain.
3. Should a physician be forced to perform procedures against his belief?
Again, this sounds more like the abortion debate. Maurice Vellacott has used this approach, as have several others. I briefly read through the bill, and could not find anywhere suggesting that physicians would be forced to euthanize. It only stipulates that a physician must perform the procedure, meaning not your mailman. I also take issue with the use of 'his' when referring to the doctor. SB 'his' or 'her'.
That might sound picky but if we're planting seeds here ....
4. Is the government within it's rights to stop someone from committing suicide?
Boy, you're putting quite a burden on the government. Anyone is within their rights and duty bound to stop a suicide. We don't expect our government to run around policing everyone. But we're discussing euthanasia for terminally ill patients who are in severe pain.
I thought it was quite noble of Steven Fletcher to write an op-ed piece on the subject, and he brought up some very valid points. As someone who was on the brink of death, he knows what the tipping point can be. He abstained from the vote.
And yes life should always be the first choice, but if you've ever seen the suffering of a cancer patient, prolonging their life is often just cruel and selfish.
A topic this important cannot be thrown together on a mail out and expect a valid response. This was clearly just another Karl Rove push poll, aimed to score points, and not seek opinion.
In defense of Mr. Uppal, I have been keeping a record of these, and his is not the worst. I may even put them together in a book. They are not only a waste of our money, but they are an insult to our intelligence.