Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dick speaks

Dick Harris must read my blog! *waves*

Late this afternoon, Dick met the unrelenting demands for him to tell us what he has to say for himself regarding the outrageous assault on democracy that he would have wrought in Skeena-Bulkley Valley. Fortunately the Guardians of Democracy, in the form of ever-vigilant bloggers, were on the job, and what Dick would have wrought... was not. When the terrible saga of the arrogant Conservative MP, the nekkid Go-To Mayor and the defenseless electoral district went nationwide yesterday, there was only the sound of *crickets* in response. Then, furious backpedaling! and denial from the Harper Cons. Fingers are pointing: "It was hiiiiim. Not uuuuuuus. Hiiiiiiim!" The real MP for S-BV, Nathan Cullen, is properly outraged and has drafted an official complaint to the Ethics Commissioner. Everyone's blowing a gasket! But...

...but where's Dick? Today he finally spoke to the Prince George Citizen:

"Harris dismissed Cullen's assertion the move is unethical and claimed his own office has been getting an increasing number of calls from people in Skeena-Bulkley Valley who've not gotten responses from their own MP.

"I'm sure that the ethics commissioner will have a chuckle about this one," Harris said. "There's nothing unethical about having a volunteer working for you or unethical about wanting to help people out if they have a problem and can't get help from other sources."

He said the outrage comes largely from Cullen's supporters.

"We're not trying to steal any clients away from Cullen, we're just trying to help the ones that can't get help from him," Harris said.

Smith won't be paid, nor will she get an office and phone as a result of her appointment, said Harris. The experience will make her a better MP if she's elected, he added."

"It'll make her a better MP" -- if what? If she tries the real MP's job on for size beforehand, also known as "usurping", that's what. But that ain't the way it works. Democracy isn't like driving, where you get a learner's permit before you try to manoeuvre a car down the road. The voters give out the licenses to drive the electoral ridings on Election Day. But uhh... nice try!

It might be mere speculation to say that the purpose of the "go-to person" appointment is to give Smith an unfair edge before the election campaign (because we all know what will be making an appearance, sooner or later). But the damn press release that so clearly indicates that the Conservative government isn't there for all Canadians, only the ones who elect a Conservative... that's real, not speculation. And it's not democracy either. I'm just guessing, but I don't think the Ethics Commissioner will find it particularly chuckle-worthy.

UPDATE (Aug. 30, 3:23am): Some more thoughts on Dick Harris, the Prince George Citizen article and editorial, and what it all means, from POGGE.