A Letter from the Conservative Party
I opened my mailbox yesterday to find something both astounding and infuriating, it was a letter from the Conservative candidate in Vancouver Centre:
Dear Friend and Neighbour!
You are on Elections Canada's international Register of Electors as a non-resident entitled to vote in Vancouver Centre, BC in the October 2015 Federal Election.
You can vote by mail. Elections Canada has already mailed your special ballot voting kit to you. If you have not received it please contact Elections Canada.
[Elections Canada contact info]
More information on how to vote by mail can be found at the Elections Canada website www.elections.ca - Ways to Vote, Vote by Mail, Vote by mail-apply now -- Voting by Canadians living abroad.
I am writing to ask you to vote for me as the Conservative candidate in Vancouver Centre. I am a business woman with over 20 years of experience in executive management in the non-profit social services sector and a long-time resident of the West End. I have an MBA and Communications degree and I am running to bring accountability to all areas of government. On the reverse side of this letter there is more detailed information about my background and qualifications. More information about me and the Conservative campaign is available on my website: www.elaineallan.com.
Please complete and mail your special ballot today to ensure that Elections Canada receives it by the deadlines set out in your special ballot voting kit. If you have not received your special ballot kit, forms are also available at any Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate, or by calling Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 or collect at 613-949-7502.
I need your vote to win this riding and to ensure that Canada continues to have a stable, secure, Conservative government lead by Stephen Harper.
Thank you for your support.
Elaine Allan Conservative Candidate Vancouver Centre, BC
Take a moment to appreciate the hypocrisy of a party writing letters to expats asking for their vote when that party has worked so hard to remove that expat's right to vote at all.
I'm fast approaching the 5-year mark in my expat status. As a result of the Conservative Party's fight to strip me of my rights, this could very well be the last vote I'm permitted to cast in any Canadian election.
For someone like me, this is a crushing realisation. I've been neck-deep in Canadian politics since I was a teenager: canvassing for candidates both in Toronto and Vancouver and even running for a seat in BC, and the Conservatives have decreed that I'm insufficiently Canadian to be permitted to participate in our democracy after this election.
The audacity of a party that would ask me to support them today, then strip me of my rights tomorrow is at the heart of the Conservative Party. It's their ideology of consumption: use up whatever you can and move on. You see it in their environmental and economic policy, and now you see it in their electoral strategy. The fact that their candidates don't see it, that they can live with themselves writing letters like this, tells you just what kind of people they are.
I'm thinking I might give Ms. Allan a call. If you have any suggestions regarding what I might say, I'd be happy to hear them.