To the casual observer, sometimes a media storm can seem large and when a story appears in several media outlets, it gains credibility. For a couple of days, the media has been full of news about the partisan use of NDP MPs offices. Our own MP, Mike Sullivan even got a mention.
Looking more closely, it seems that far from being a media storm, it is a single article put out by Joan Bryden of the Canadian Press and faithfully reprinted for example, here, here, here and here… My esteemed colleague Adam rightly covered it because it is news with a local ingredient. Ms Bryden is also the source of other stories about the NDP – concerning the use of satellite offices.
It would be improper to suggest that the Tories and Liberals are feeding Ms. Bryden story ideas. It is also an unfounded suggestion that Mr. Mulcair’s recently improved polling numbers are giving the back room boys in Canada’s traditional ruling parties unwanted bowel movements.
This month, both the Tories and Liberals are about to be battered by a political tsunami courtesy of their colleagues in the Senate. There are no NDP Senators so the Libs and Cons will be feeling the full wrath of the people. Voters, who have no patience with the concept that Senators are easily confused by forms and may have been tricked into filling them out fraudulently. With more than 100 from the ‘Chamber of Sober Second Thought’, being asked to justify their claims, hearing about Nancy Ruth enduring deprivations such as cold Camembert and broken crackers is a prescription for high blood pressure.
While such a callous lack of understanding on the part of the public they so selflessly serve must hurt, Mike Duffy’s trial will be in the headlines this month and unless Nigel Wright can perform witchcraft, lots more pain will be inflicted, hence the need for artificial public outrage.
Allegedly, Mr. Sullivan used his constituency office to gather people for a rally. Having been inside Mr. Sullivan’s poky headquarters, it might be easier to have gathered them into something more spacious such as a phone booth.
There is no doubt that partisan activities occur in riding offices. Does the public expect that an MP step outside the office to discuss party strategy? Regardless, is doubtful that the NDP are any better or worse than the Liberals and Tories. The latter two have had more experience in hiding it. One is left to wonder, was this strategy on the part of the Tories and Liberals concocted in a riding office or in the PMO? No doubt that would be illegal too.
As the old saying goes, the first casualty in any war is the truth.