The Canadian Independent

Guergis letter writers business as usual, made public

Posted in Blogs & Bloggers, Politics by dave on April 1, 2010

This story broke a few days ago, but I think its important because it really is business as usual for partisan politics here in Canada.

OTTAWA— Embattled junior Conservative cabinet minister Helena Guergis says she had no idea her office assistant has been sending pro-Guergis letters to local newspapers posing as a regular voter.

Guergis, already under fire for an airport security tantrum last month in Charlottetown, says her riding assistant has agreed the letter campaign was inappropriate and has apologized.

The assistant used her married name, rather than the maiden name she uses in her professional life, to send letters defending Guergis to newspapers in her Simcoe-Grey riding northwest of Toronto — without any hint that they came from a Guergis employee.

The practice of parties having supportive letters sent to local papers and even national papers isn’t new at all, and Guergis is not the only “culprit” of this. Generally the way it works is the EDA (Electoral District Association) board members for each party will ghost write letters or atleast set up templates of talking points for supporters to send to local papers. These talking points are often sent out from the political arm of the party in the first place, generally in a weekly or daily email. Occasionally these talking points get leaked out to the media.

Guergis’ sin isn’t that shes doing something thats fundamentally different than what other mainstream political parties in Canada do. Her sin is that she got caught for it, adding another scandal to a a growing list of troubles shes having.

Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal party, as well as Jack Layton are calling for her resignation from her position of Minister of State for the Status of Women. Seems to me the more important question is why should such a position exist in the first place?


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