An analysis by Sun Media of spending figures tabled in the House of Commons this week for the year ended on March 31 shows that the cost to taxpayers for MPs printing has soared to $10 million in 2008/09 compared to $5.9 million in 2005.The Globe notes that Le Devoir has also joined in with its own study on the costing of these ten percenters:
All the parties do it, but the Conservatives have taken to it with zeal: Adding up the costs, the Montreal newspaper Le Devoir found that MPs with the minority Conservatives spent $6.3-million on the mailers, while opposition MPs spent $3.8-million.Those disproportionate numbers Conservatives are racking up to spew their nonsense are crystal clear. No sense of propriety, just in the cookie jar up to their shoulders.
The average Conservative spent $38,337, including eight who spent more than $80,000, while the average opposition MP spent $17,977. Ontario Conservative Rick Norlock topped the list at $87,749. (emphasis added)
The other major problem with how the Conservatives are using the ten percenters lies in the little request for a return vote on leadership preferences. Essentially, they are culling voters, on the public dime, determining who is likely to support them in the future.
The mailers serve a more sophisticated function than just spreading a political message. Many of them include mail-back coupons, which are used to compile vital mailing lists on which political parties depend to solicit votes, volunteers and money – and that's hard, expensive work.Is this what the ten percenters were intended for? Party voter list compilation?
Another day more independent confirmation of Conservative largesse on our dime.