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Posted: March 22, 2015

Just how stupid do they think we are?

chrisconwayBy Chris Conway

I admit to being a bit of a political junkie, albeit an increasingly jaded one these days.  So I have on occasion contacted my MP David Wilks to express my opinion on political matters.

I have stopped bothering.  As MPs go, David Wilks is a waste of my time.

His replies are patently prepared boring PR cookie-cutter responses. I may as well email a brick wall for all the worth it will achieve. I have come to the conclusion that Wilks does not care what I think. Wilks is there to brush me off with the party propaganda and to fill an otherwise cold seat in Parliament and raise his hand when Harper tells him to do so. He does and says what he is told and in return he will get a fat government pension.

Colloquially speaking I may as well piss into the wind on some mountaintop as much as bother engaging in the democratic process of contacting my Kootenay-Columbia MP.

Today I read in my local print newspaper that our local Green Party candidate, Bill Green, holds much the same opinion of Wilks. Green was quoted thusly in The Valley Echo: “Wilks is a spokesperson for the government to this riding, not a representative who speaks to our interests.”

Hmmm, yup that strikes a chord. I agree with Green Party candidate Bill Green on that one. I turned the page. Actually I turned a few pages and there on page A7 I came across a letter headlined “In defense of Bill C-51.” I had previously read the same letter here in e-KNOW where it is titled  “C-51 gives police tools to fight terrorists.”

I almost LOLd. “C’mon,” I thought to myself. “It’s not like back-bencher David Wilks would be allowed the democratic freedom to independently write a letter-to-the-editor about draconian, divisive and fear-driven Bill C-51.”  There’s no way Harper would OK that kind of freedom from amidst the rank of pawns.

I held my nose, stifled my gag reflex and re-read the letter. It reads like the usual Conservative Party propaganda that has been making many Canadians feel nauseated for far too long. In both the Echo and e-KNOW instances the letter was signed by “David Wilks, MP Kootenay-Columbia.”

It begins: “Horrifically, as we have seen in Canada, the international jihadist movement has declared war on us.” I wondered if this was Wilks’ original and independent opinion as his signature seemed to suggest, so I decided to check it out. I Googled the first sentence of the letter verbatim in quotation marks.

In only 0.94 seconds Google returned 204 results from all over Canada. I admit I did not fully check each one but those that I did check were virtually identical except for minor and inconsequential differences. Most of them were signed by other Conservative MPs.

Initially I was shocked. I wanted to call David Wilks and ask him if he knew that many of his party colleagues were plagiarizing his original thoughts and work. That would be so unethical. Then I realized, silly me, that this tripe had been produced by some party PR hack and was being collectively regurgitated, like a mass vomit, upon we the people, by all the party puppet MPs who were all doing what they are told to do. Just how stupid do they think we are?

One was even signed by Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and Conservative Party MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka. That’s the guy Canadians trust to manage an important part of Canada’s government accountability and ethics. Actually the ‘letter’ (to parrysound.com) to which Clement signed his name begins: “After reading your editorial last week on our government’s anti-terrorism act, I wanted to provide some insight for your readers.” A clever twist really, it makes it look like he was thoughtfully responding to an editorial rather than just parroting party propaganda.

Obviously Green Party candidate Bill Green hit a home run with his opinion of Wilks. Obviously Wilks is not the only one. It’s a much bigger problem.

This letter-to-the-editor “In defense of Bill C-51” was not actually written by Wilks. Hell no! Even though someone put his name at the bottom it is not his original thoughts. He is not actually reaching out and engaging with us, his constituents about an important and highly controversial piece of legislation that many feel undermines Canadian freedoms and privacy. He is just channeling the party line.

What’s worse is that David Wilks thinks we are stupid enough to swallow it. So does Tony Clement. So does Stephen Harper.

If you have ever asked yourself “how stupid do they think we are?” This is how stupid the Conservatives think we are. So now you know!

This commentary is ALL my own work, my own thoughts, my own opinion. So far I still live in a country where that freedom of expression is nurtured and protected.  Bill C-51 may change all that and my MP can’t or won’t speak freely to the matter on his own. Why not?

David Wilks, my question to you is this: When I see your name at the bottom of a letter-to-the-editor along with the designation ‘MP Kootenay-Columbia,’ should I take the MP to mean “Member of Parliament” or “Made Puppet”? Or is it maybe “Mindless Parrot”?

I look forward to your response Mr. Wilks, if it’s permitted. Feel free! I dare you.

Chris Conway is a freelance photographer and writer in Invermere. He also guides for a local ATV and snowmobile outfitter. View his photography at ChrisConway.ca

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