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robert_viera

Householders and Ten Percenters

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Whenever I see an article in the news about those taxpayer-funded mailings from MPs that fill our mailboxes with partisan propaganda, I see the same types of responses from Conservative supporters: 1) All parties do it. 2) Anecdotal stories about receiving mailings from opposition MPs. 3) Claiming that the mailings aren't partisan and are just sent out to keep constituents informed.

Response #1 is of course true, but it does not address the degree to which the various parties use or abuse this privilege. Response #2 may also be true, but tells us little about the overall picture. Response #3 usually comes from those sending-out the mailings or their supporters.

On Wednesday, MP expense figures for the fiscal year 2008-2009 were made available on the web site of the Parliament of Canada:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/house/GeneraLInformation/MembersExpenses-2008-2009-e.pdf

The 2008-2009 expense figures show that a total of $10,062,553 was spent by MPs on these mailings, which come under the heading "Printing". Of this, Conservative MPs were responsible for $6,255,368 or 62% of total spending on these mailings. Liberal MPs spent $1,591,684 (15.8%). Bloc MPs spent $1,092,690 (10.9%). NDP MPs spent $1,100,016 (10.9%). Independent MPs spent $22,801 (0.2%). Conservative MPs held only 41.2% of the seats in the House of Commons in the first part of the fiscal year and 46.4% of seats after the election.

If those figures don't convince you that Conservative MPs are disproportionately (ab)using these mailings, consider these figures: Of the MPs with the highest "Printing" expenses, 61 out of the top 65 are Conservatives. The average spending on these mailings by Conservative MPs was $38,853.22. The average for the rest of the MPs was $17,874.14. If you consider the average spending on "Printing" of only the MPs who served for the full fiscal year the disparity is even greater: $49,415.56 for Conservative MPs vs. $22,438.18 for all other MPs.

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I think this is pretty small potatoes and I really don't care one way or another. There are more important things to worry about. This is just something for the opposition to get their knickers in a knot over.

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Its about smart politics. The Conservatives are proving themselves better than the rest of the representatives. Sooner or later they will get hold of email addresses and then join up with some marketing firm and begin the real pounding. This is the communication age, but we have just arrived there and much is to be learned.

The best possible move on the part of a party that wishes to make a dent in the apathetic demographic is to tap the internet, not just TV. TV is much more expensive and reaches smaller audiences.

Edited by Jerry J. Fortin

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I think this is pretty small potatoes and I really don't care one way or another. There are more important things to worry about. This is just something for the opposition to get their knickers in a knot over.

It may seem like small potatoes when the taxpayer is footing the bill, but if the Conservative Party had to pay for what their MPs spent on these partisan mailings it would have used up 30% of the funds the Conservative Party raised in the same period.

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Its about smart politics. The Conservatives are proving themselves better than the rest of the representatives. Sooner or later they will get hold of email addresses and then join up with some marketing firm and begin the real pounding. This is the communication age, but we have just arrived there and much is to be learned.

I don't think 'smart' is the word the average taxpayer would use to describe this kind of spending. We're always hearing what great fund-raisers the Conservatives are, yet their MPs are using the taxpayers' funds to get their message out more than any other party. Since most MPs are not cabinet ministers managing departmental budgets, these expense reports allow us to get an idea of how well our MP manages the taxpayers' money.

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No the tax payers would never use the word smart to describe the situation, I agree with you completely on that. However these are programs and services available to politicians in the employ of the people of Canada. Using available resources is the name of the game, especially when considering the use of the available funds to attain power.

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Anyone that doesn't care how government spends their money must be rich or or reckless with their own. How can one not be, its adding to the country's debt. I read about one MP that makes 153,000 yearly, 25,500 expense account and has 63 free passes to trips from Ottawa to home or where ever they want to go plus their families! They also got a raise in pay for 2009! Why? they only worked 25 weeks last year and this week they are off! These guys make more than teachers and work less hours and don't forget their pensions, at least they have one, a big one!

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Anyone that doesn't care how government spends their money must be rich or or reckless with their own. How can one not be, its adding to the country's debt. I read about one MP that makes 153,000 yearly, 25,500 expense account and has 63 free passes to trips from Ottawa to home or where ever they want to go plus their families! They also got a raise in pay for 2009! Why? they only worked 25 weeks last year and this week they are off! These guys make more than teachers and work less hours and don't forget their pensions, at least they have one, a big one!

If and I do mean "if" these folks would work harder and spend more time and less money at out expense than I would be happy with the result we get. That is not the case though.

If I was allowed to make some rules for these folks it would go something like this.

Once elected the taxpayers would pay to fly them to Ottawa for day one, and the taxpayer would pay to send them back to their constituency one a month.

The taxpayer will provide a residence for them, instead of an allowance.

The representative would attend to the business of government 5 days a week, 20 weeks a year. Doors to the House of Commons to open at 0845 then close by 0900. Coffee break at 1115 until 1130. Lunch to begin at 1330 and end at 1430. Doors would open at 1700 to let representatives out for the day. Anyone not in attendance at 0900 to be docked a days pay.

Representatives to be granted 6 weeks annual vacation.

Representatives to be paid pensions based upon contributions at a rate determined by the representatives.

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This years top 10 MPs who spent the most on householders and ten-percenters:

2008-2009
Rick     Norlock     $87749  Conservative  Northumberland - Quinte West            
Helena   Guergis     $86808  Conservative  Simcoe - Grey                           
Laurie   Hawn        $85989  Conservative  Edmonton Centre                         
Vic      Toews       $85940  Conservative  Provencher                              
Peter    Goldring    $85234  Conservative  Edmonton East                           
Peter    Van Loan    $83531  Conservative  York - Simcoe                           
Russ     Hiebert     $81888  Conservative  South Surrey - White Rock - Cloverdale  
Barry    Devolin     $80470  Conservative  Haliburton - Kawartha Lakes - Brock     
Patrick  Brown       $79195  Conservative  Barrie                                  
Olivia   Chow        $78605  NDP           Trinity - Spadina

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Last year's top 10:

2007-2008
Vic	Toews		$99580  Conservative  Provencher                           
Olivia	Chow		$86030  NDP           Trinity - Spadina                    
Patrick	Brown		$79538  Conservative  Barrie                               
Laurie	Hawn		$76399  Conservative  Edmonton Centre                      
Guy	Lauzon		$72410  Conservative  Stormont - Dundas - South Glengarry  
Lee	Richardson	$70940  Conservative  Calgary Centre                       
Paul	Dewar		$70860  NDP           Ottawa Centre                        
Joy	Smith		$68644  Conservative  Kildonan - St. Paul                  
Bruce	Stanton		$66770  Conservative  Simcoe North                         
Cheryl	Gallant		$66553  Conservative  Renfrew - Nipissing - Pembroke

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I was listening to Power Play and they said that it was permissable to send 10 percenters outside your own riding. That makes no sense and should not be allowed. There should also be limits on how many you should allow in a year. Right now, the rules apply to everyone equally but I think they should be changed.

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MPs shouldn't be sending material outside of their own ridings, I agree. The rules should be changed.

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I got two mailing in the same week from my MP. If he was paying the postage I'm sure it would have only been one. :)

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I too saw the item about ten-percenters on Power Play. One MP who was being interviewed, Paul Dewar, was one of the top ten spenders on householders and ten-percenters in 2007-2008.

When I first started receiving ten-percenters I did what I think most people do, which is to take a quick look at them and then put them in the recycling bin. I later decided to start collecting them. I have about 25 from my local Conservative MP and 2 from Liberal MPs in other ridings. 18 of the Conservative ten-percenters include a mock ballot with the names of the party leaders and a handwritten instruction to 'Check One' with an arrow pointing to Stephen Harper's name. I noticed a small change in the most recent one I received: the mock ballot was still there, the handwritten 'Check one' was still there, but the little arrow pointing to Stephen Harper's name was gone. Could this change be a subtle acknowledgement by the Conservatives that they broke the rules in past ten-percenters?

Edited by robert_viera

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I think the ten percenters should either be abolished altogether, or at least should have to be paid by party funds, not the MPs budgets.

However, I do not believe the top ten percenter lists posted in this thread for a second. I've never even seen a CPC or NDP one, but I get several Liberal ones every week

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I think the ten percenters should either be abolished altogether, or at least should have to be paid by party funds, not the MPs budgets.

However, I do not believe the top ten percenter lists posted in this thread for a second. I've never even seen a CPC or NDP one, but I get several Liberal ones every week

I only get NDP ones?

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I only get Conservative ones. I have no problem with MPs sending things to their own constitutents, but that should be the extent of it.

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I live in a Conservative riding why do I get mail outs from an NDP MP from the East?

And why does my MP think I want to propaganda from him weekly?

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However, I do not believe the top ten percenter lists posted in this thread for a second. I've never even seen a CPC or NDP one, but I get several Liberal ones every week

You don't have to believe them. They're fact. The source:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/house/GeneraLInformation/MembersExpenses-2008-2009-e.pdf

http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/house/GeneraLInformation/MembersExpenses-2007-2008-e.pdf

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I don't doubt that those are the ones being recorded as such, I just don't believe that those are the actual totals. If there's one thing the Liberals have never been good at, it's keeping things on the books in an upfront fashion. Elections Canada is still trying to get many LPC candidates to properly document their expenses from the last election.

Edited by Bryan

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I don't doubt that those are the ones being recorded as such, I just don't believe that those are the actual totals. If there's one thing the Liberals have never been good at, it's keeping things on the books in an upfront fashion. Elections Canada is still trying to get many LPC candidates to properly document their expenses from the last election.

Householders and ten-percenters come under the heading 'Goods and Services Provided by the House'. MPs don't report these expenses, the House administration keeps track of them.

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I get a steady stream of these propaganda pages from the Conservative MP in my riding, even though I always fill them out and send them back in a very not supportive of the tories kind of way. I read in the paper that the Cons spend more than double on these than the other parties combined total. How much is Mike Duffy's total expense bill to the taxpayers for flying around the country fundraising for the Cons at now anyway? I want the total so I can print it on my protest sign when he comes to my area to host a 100 dollar a plate dinner.

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How much is Mike Duffy's total expense bill to the taxpayers for flying around the country fundraising for the Cons at now anyway? I want the total so I can print it on my protest sign when he comes to my area to host a 100 dollar a plate dinner.

Until you can prove he's flying on our dime, you are spamming.

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