The 30 Million Member Ridings
The Globe & Mail is all over Cadman today as the Surrey North MP details how he’s listening to his constituents before deciding whether or not to topple the government. While this is a great exercise in grass roots democracy, it also lends itself to several problems. For example, I think a lot of die hard Liberals lucky enough to live in Surrey North or Edmonton Beaumont will be picking up the telephone and saying something along the lines of:
“Hello, I’m a long time resident of Surrey North/Edmonton Beaumont and I feel I need to share my opinion with Mr.Cadman/Mr.Kilgour. I’m a long time Conservative even though I voted for Mr.Cadman/Mr.Kilgour last time but I must say I’m in no hurry to see an election right now. I think Mr.Cadman/Mr.Kilgour should vote against bringing down the government this spring since we really owe it to Canada to see the Gomery Report through to the very end. I’ve talked to a lot of friends and family and they all share this opinion. Thanks for listening.”
In fact, I imagine a lot of Liberals who, say, live outside of Surrey North or Edmonton Beaumont will be calling or e-mailing Monsieurs Cadman and Kilgour with e-mails of this sort. All they’d really need is a good BC/Edmonton accent and the knowledge that Mr. Cadman can be reached at 604-589-0338 or that Mr. Kilgour can be reached at 780-495-2149.
It also occurs to me that a lot of Conservatives lucky enough to have an area code in one of those two ridings will be doing likewise and saying something along the lines of:
“Hello, I’m a long time resident of Surrey North/Edmonton Beaumont and I feel I need to share my opinion with Mr.Cadman/Mr.Kilgour. I’m a long time Liberal but even I have been thoroughly disgusted by what has come out of the Gomery Inquiry. I certainly will not be voting Liberal next time and I think it’s imperative that Mr.Cadman/Mr.Kilgour vote to bring down the government right now. Clearly, Paul Martin has lost the moral authority to govern. I’ve talked to a lot of friends and family and they all share this opinion. Thanks for listening.”
It also seems likely that a given individual might call from home today, then try again from their work number tomorrow and maybe drop the MP (or, hey, why not, both MPs) a call from their cell phone over the course of the weekend. As for those with 4 or 5 e-mail addresses…
Gotta love grass roots democracy, eh? Now excuse me, I have some phone calls to make…