Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Raitt update

Well there's always something to talk about...take this for example:

(click to enlarge)

The letter penned by Raitt above formed part of the ethics complaint filed this week by Liberals about the partisan swath of economic action plan advertising. It's just one example of the misuse of official government communications for partisan purposes.

Apparently this unsolicited letter was sent out to citizens who participated in the government's ecoENERGY home retrofitting programme. There are the self-promotional aspects here that are bad enough. Flogging the economic action plan and the home reno tax credit. The campaign style picture is the capper. Really, there was no official government purpose to this document other than Conservative self-promotion, done at taxpayer expense. If 200,000 plus participants in this programme received letters, that's quite the expense and reach for this campaign style document.

Beyond the ethics complaint on the partisan nature of the letter, you also have to wonder about the privacy issues here that Conservatives apparently felt no compulsion to respect. Little did those who applied for this programme know that they would end up on a mailing list and would receive essentially a Lisa Raitt autographed brochure in the mail. How many Canadian participants in other government programmes are being unknowingly culled into lists for such Conservative efforts?

It's all so subtle, yet cumulatively, all these little government levers are being pulled in one direction, toward the Conservative party.