Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Phil's Boring Website

This is a new blog, so we're cleaning out the archives which are just full of Phil. Here's a letter to the editor that was published on January 13, 2009:
Conservative member's website is generic

Along with many local readers, I have viewed the recent opinions expressed about our new MP, and read the misleading and generic holiday newsletter he mailed out at taxpayer expense.

Now I feel compelled to contribute to the debate after looking at his new website, which is nearly identical to the websites of many other Conservative MPs, and which contains no content concerning Brant whatsoever.

The fact that Phil McColeman would be an inaccessible and voiceless representative was foreshadowed during the election campaign when Stephen Harper deigned to visit our fair city, and curious citizens who were not on a preapproved "guest list," and/or were not card-carrying Conservatives, were turned away at the event's gate.

I am wondering when Mr. Mc- Coleman will publicly respond to these accusations. During the last electoral campaign, former MP Lloyd St. Amand politely responded to public criticism in these pages.

If McColeman fails to respond, one can only assume that he is "too busy" either sifting through propaganda from Ottawa, or chewing on his Harper-given ball gag.

Ryan MacIsaac, Brantford

A quick look showed that in fact the McColeman's website was and is nearly identical to those of other Conservative MPs Dave Van Kersteren, David Tilson, Ben Lobb, Greg Rickford, Peter Braid, Bev Shipley, Gord Brown… and these are just a few from Ontario! All of these websites feature prominently the same generic links to big-time policy topics like ENVIRONMENT and ECONOMY, and, oddly, a SOVEREIGNTY button that links to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. What I gather from this is that, under the Conservatives, Indian and Northern Affairs should be more concerned with Russians planting a flag on the ocean floor than with, say, the over 80 native communities that don't have safe drinking water. But then, the Conservative government clearly perfers significant promises to actual action.

But back to Phil's website. When the above letter was published, Phil's website featured a generic note that appeared to be written by him, on the topic of "a great option… the new Tax-Free Savings Account" (which has even been criticized in the National Post). The depth of the economic content and prose seemed to be a little bit beyond the capacity of Phil the Handyman, and sure enough a quick Google search proved that it was just more generic drivel pumped out by the Conservative propaganda machine.

What's most interesting in this story, though, is that the exact same day that the above letter to the editor was published, Phil reacted by putting local content on his website, starting with a heart-warming brief about his visit to an area school:
Greenbrier School in Brantford
January 13, 2009

Phil meets with the grade 4 & 5 class of Greenbrier School in Brantford 01/12/09 to discuss the democratic process.

The terrible irony of Phil discussing "the democratic process" with these students is that his holy leader Stephen Harper had just weeks earlier completely undermined Canadian democracy, if not in law then in principle. One can reasonably assume that Phil McColeman taught these kids such timeless lessons as:
  • How to act like a bully even when the majority of people don't like you.
  • How to run away from the same problems you created in the first place.
  • How to alienate 23% of your classmates in a single stroke, or 23% of Canadian voters (Qu├ębec) if you're a federal leader.
  • How to lie about budget surpluses, or by analogy, how to lie that your parents are a lot richer than they really are.
  • How to take credit for other people's work.
Let's just hope that the teachers at Greenbriar School don't have to face students asking for a proroguation of class because they don't get along with the other kids.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Phil McColeman sends Generic Holiday Mailout

For the first substantial post in this blog, I'd like to begin by quoting a letter to the editor published in the Brantford Expositor on January 5, 2009. It references the "muzzledness" of Phil McColeman, which was a substantial controversy during his local campaign. The argument was that McColeman could not give Brant a strong voice in Ottawa because Prime Minister Stephen Harper does not allow his MPs to speak their mind - he muzzles them. Here's the letter:
MP's mailout proves he's just being muzzled

Our Conservative MP has sent to all households, at taxpayers' expense, a so-called newsletter (trimmed in the Conservative colour of choice, blue), which mentions virtually nothing about Brant, the riding he represents.

Like all Harper MPs, he is told what to say and write and, as the message from Conservative Party headquarters must be applicable to all parts of Canada, little mention is made of an MP's riding or the MP's constituents.

The content of the newsletter, apart from a generic piece about Remembrance Day, is simply Conservative Party propaganda with, most oddly, no mention at all of the Prime Minister's decision to prorogue Parliament after sitting only 12 days.

A shaky start for an MP who said he wouldn't be muzzled -- all Conservative MPs are muzzled by Stephen Harper and our MP is clearly no exception.

Andrew Hunter, Brantford

Mr. Hunter hit the nail right on the head with this one. McColeman's newsletter was the blandest piece of birdcage-liner I've seen in a long time. It did not even reference that Canada's Parliament had almost melted weeks earlier; at least this was a departure from the misleading rhetoric that the Conservative Party had been spewing during that near-crisis.

Proof that Mr. Hunter was bang-on came in the form of further reader responses in the Expositor, such as this one published on January 7, 2009:
Same newsletter sent by all Tories

This is a response to Andrew Hunter's comments on Jan. 5, 2009. I completely agree with your comments that this newsletter is purely Conservative propaganda. I have family and friends in other ridings who have received the exact same newsletter from their Conservative MP.

Clearly, we are being governed by a party whose members, including Mr. McColeman, have little respect for the intelligence of the electorate. I think their actions of late prove just that.

Chris Hague, Brantford

Clearly, Phil McColeman was too busy attending to the needs of his constituents to have the time to actually write something related to Brant in his taxpayer-funded mailout. Or was he...?
E-mails have not been returned

Mr. Hunter gives Mr. McColeman and the PM way too much credit. Back in October 2008, I visited the Conservative party website. The home page had an invitation to submit a question. So I did. In return I received an email from a subordinate saying Mr. McColeman was too busy to comment.

Not to be deterred, I went over Mr. McColeman's head and wrote directly to the PM. The PM's office acknowledged receipt of the email and sent it on to the office of Mr. Jim Flaherty, where in turn it was acknowledged.

None of the recipients has ever responded directly to the original e-mail even after having invited it. Since then, I have sent numerous e-mails to Mr. McColeman-- some as queries and more recently scathing commentary. The result is always the same. No result. Mr. McColeman is not being muzzled. He has joined the ranks of the "out of touch" Conservative Party. Hiding right under our noses in Ottawa.

Greg Driver, Paris

In his less than three months in office, Phil McColeman already displayed a resounding disregard for the citizens of Brant. I want to share with you another editorial gem that was published around the same time:
Leadership promise ringing hollow

Leadership? Strong voice in Ottawa?

Not to spoil Mr. Phil McColeman's extended winter vacation, but I believe that writer Andrew Hunter raises a solid point in his recent letter which was titled: "MP's mailout proves he's just being muzzled." A friend of mine once said if McColeman couldn't possibly get things done under the control-freak Stephen Harper, he should not have promised "leadership" or a "strong voice in Ottawa" during his electoral campaign and on his website.

During the past election, former prime minister Jean Chretien stated that "if (former prime minister Pierre) Trudeau had treated him the way Harper treats his ministers, I would have resigned."

That boils down to the classic dichotomy of our MP being clueless or dishonest.

Mr. McColeman has fulfilled the negative and unfortunate stereotype of politicians who will say anything to get elected. This is very lamentable, considering rising antipathy in voters and the fact that our riding has been fortunate to have had classy and consistent MPs such as Lloyd St. Amand, Jane Stewart and Derek Blackburn.

Jorge Gomez, Brantford

It should be noted that McColeman did not respond to any of these criticisms, and there is currently no evidence to indicate that he has changed his attitude.

Greetings!

Hello and welcome to the Dump Phil blog! The function of this blog is to keep a sort of journal about how badly Phil McColeman has been performing as the Member of Parliament for Brant (Brantford, Ontario, Canada; Paris, ON; Six Nations of the Grand and the Mississaugas of the New Credit; and surrounding area).

This blog is not connected to or condoned by any political party and/or politician. It is not meant to be a personal attack, but it does and will critique the performance of Phil McColeman as a Conservative MP.

If you'd like to contribute, leave a message below one of the blog posts and we'll be happy to post your thoughts!