Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Canadian Press now on the BC Conservative "representative" story

There you go, all the bloggers who have been beating the drum on this story, your work is paying off: "Tory says: Forget your MP, talk to our Conservative candidate instead." And Canada's New Government appears to be embarrassed and backing off this anti-democratic clusterf*%# once cornered by the national media. Here's the CP explaining the story:
Forget your duly elected local MP! If you want government services in your riding, you'd be better off going to the local Conservative candidate for the next election instead.

That's the message the Tories have been peddling in a British Columbia riding they don't hold - and now they're vigorously backpedalling.

The Conservatives' caucus chair in the province had been telling radio listeners and public audiences in Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding not to bother with their elected New Democrat MP.

For a better chance at federal funding, speedily returned paperwork, and help with infrastructure projects, Dick Harris told them they should talk instead to the woman who will run for the Conservatives.

"Realistically, to have access to the ministers you know - realistically - you have to be part of the government," Harris, who is also a B.C. MP, said in a radio interview.

"There is sort of a little bit of a pecking order in Parliament."

An area newspaper also quoted him urging constituents to approach the federal government through Sharon Smith - the mayor of Houston, B.C., and the Conservative election candidate.

"Constituents . . . will derive a huge benefit from having direct contact with the government, something they have not had since 2004," Harris said in a story in the Terrace Daily Online.
And here's Ryan Sparrow, backtracking on Harris' manoeuver:
"He just kind of did that himself," government spokesman Ryan Sparrow said of Harris's move.

"(Smith) is the Conservative candidate in the next election. That's her only official capacity."

Sparrow was unequivocal when asked whom local residents should contact for federal help: "They should contact their local member of Parliament. . . Ms. Smith is working hard to be that person after the next election, but for now the riding is held by a New Democrat."
What a sorry track record these bunglers are developing. Looks like the muzzles from central headquarters have been brought out too:
Harris and Smith did not respond to interview requests made to their offices over two days.
What a big freakin' surprise.

Major h/t to Dawg's Blawg and Galloping Beaver on this story...