The purpose of this blog is mainly to talk about provincial politics in Alberta. But, once in a while, the author has to make an exception.
One of those rare occasions was thrust upon me last night when I caught wind that Linda Duncan, our local opposition MP and the darling of Edmonton's chattering class, might be using her taxpayer-funded office to coordinate NDP activities.
In an e-mail from the U of A Campus NDP (who, as an aside, should probably clean up their distribution list), a lengthy list of local door knocking opportunities are promoted and campus New Democrats are urged to help out.
The contact person for all door knocking in Edmonton-Strathcona is Erica Bullwinkle, a long-time New Democrat who I've heard is also Linda Duncan's campaign manager. That's not the egregious part, of course. The offensive bit is the contact e-mail listed if you want more info or to sign up: DuncaL1@parl.gc.ca
For those of you unfamiliar, parl.gc.ca accounts are the official, taxpayer-funded e-mail accounts that every Member of Parliament has to conduct their constituency work (read: not coordinate party door knocking).
Here's a part of the e-mail in question for context:
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 14:56:51 -0700
Subject: U of A Campus NDP Meeting and Volunteer Requests
Hello fellow campus New Democrats!
The U of A Campus NDP is planning to re-coordinate our efforts to get
New Democrats seen and heard on campus. If you're interested in being
involved in the club, including planning strategy and bringing in
speakers from the provincial and federal NDP, come to our upcoming
Thursday, February 17th at 3 PM
Also, it is quite likely we will have a federal election called in the
next month or two. Help your Edmonton NDP candidates get ready! Here
are some ways you can help get rid of Stephen Harper's Conservatives
and put progressive MPs in their places:
Re-elect Linda Duncan in Edmonton-Strathcona
Upcoming door-knocking sessions (open to everyone, regardless of
Canvass in Windsor Park, Saturday February 12, 1pm: Please meet at
home of (name and address omitted).
Canvass in Garneau/Strathcona, Sunday February 13, 1pm: Please meet
at the home of (name and address omitted).
Canvass in King Edward Park, Sunday, February 20, 1pm: Please meet at
the home of (name and address omitted).
For more information or to sign up for any of the above sessions,
contact Erica Bullwinkle at DuncaL1@parl.gc.ca.
This begs the question: just how much partisan NDP efforts are being coordinated through Ms. Duncan's taxpayer-funded Parliamentary office?
Regardless, this is a shocking misuse of Parliamentary resources. Ms. Duncan and her campaign team should know better than to blatantly operate NDP party activities from what is supposed to be a public, non-partisan office.
I guess they've been so busy accusing Conservative Senators of running campaigns on the public dime, they forgot to enforce their own righteous indignation on themselves. Ooops.