Today’s article will be short and sweet, asking a simple question- does Vancouver Liberal MP Hedy Fry misunderstand the workings of democracy, or is she just a grandstanding political hack? This of course is a trick question, our political system eventually turns most of our representatives into hacks. And, unfortunately, this leaves many unabashed to twist the meaning of democracy for political gain.
Yesterday Fry made a posting on her Facebook page complaining about a poll Conservative MP Jim Hillyer included in his government funded flyer where he asked his constituents their opinion on his standing on abortion. Fry’s criticism was that Hillyer was “spending taxpayer’s dollars on this garbage”. Huh?
Fry, obviously, disagrees with Hillyer views on abortion. I don’t share Hillyer’s position either, and I welcome Fry’s contribution to countering it. That said, there are issues that are more important to me than the abortion debate- one that’s most important is that we need more honesty and less dirty tricks. One of the most fundamental parts of being a politician is to understand what’s important to your constituents. Newsletters are one of the most common tools MPs use to communicate with their constituents, they often include polls. It’s disingenuous (or just plain dumb) to say it’s a waste of money for an MP to poll their constituents.
Fry also used Twitter to share her criticism, sending two consecutive tweets- one that included @JimHillyerMP, and one that didn’t. One of the main differences between the two was that the tweet without Hillyer’s address invoked his gender, labelling him “yet another male Conservative MP”. Once again, this is entirely disingenuous- the pro-life movement is supported by as many women as it is men. It’s also a great example of shameless gender-baiting.
Cheap tricks Hedy, people see through this crap- it only ends up hurting the movement. And, if you’re so deeply concerned about MP spending, can you explain why you had the fourth highest MP expense account in 2013?