Omar is one of the reasons I started to blog back in March 2008. I was reading Progressive Bloggers a lot back then and got so pissed at Stéphanne Dion and other leading Liberals for not showing up to vote against a private members bill that was attacking women's rights on International Women's Day, of all days, that I took some bloggers advice and sent a very heated email to my local Liberal MP, Omar Alghabra.
The next day Omar called me at home from his cell, in a cab, on the way to the Ottawa airport. We talked for twenty minutes and I realized that this young man, which is I guess is relative to your own age, had more ethics than any politician I had ever met. We covered a wide range of topics, but his best answer was when I asked why he called and didn't just send an email reply, because it really did surprise me.
He replied. you are one of my constituents and since your somewhat heated email (and it was) included a phone number, so I assumed you wanted a direct answer by phone. I forgot that I had sent the email from one of my business addresses that it had my home phone number in the signature.
Omar lost the last election in Mississauga Erindale by 397 votes or less than 1% of the total votes to a Harper conservative and former corporate lawyer, Bob Dechert. You may have seen a couple posts about Bob here, there and at FFIBS.
Working for your constituents is what the job is supposed to be about. In comparison this year I sent an email to Dechert asking if was going to support the gun registry and if so why. I used his riding web site, where you fill in your name, address, phone number etc. I got an email answer from some assistant, that started with:
Thank you for providing your address, we know where you live. The Honorable member is deciding how he will answer your question.
Since I live on bus route which had the biggest red sign you could get during the last election, I guess they did know where I lived, because I never got an answer to my question or the follow up email that I sent.
Unfortunately the Harper conservatives are not really there to represent you. At least not the way that Omar did.
Which means I will probably have to get another red Omar sign this year, but I'm still not joining his damn party.