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Let me tell you who Omar Alghabra is

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 St├ęphanne 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.


ck said…
Wow, a phone call. I'd settle for a personalized email from an MP.

I had emailed Jack Layton a long time ago. I had received what I had suspected (later confirmed; saw that same letter to a friend of mine who also wrote him) was a cookie cutter form letter where all one has to to is insert the name of addressee.

I wrote to Stevie a few times; not even an answer from a flunkie.

That said, I still recommend writing your MPs and leaders, because you never know; one of them may just send a personalized answer or even a phone call as in your case.
WILLY said…
Hey CK it is good to hear from you.

It is strange I went after three of the religious Libs last year about why they voted with the CONS in regards to Harper's foreign aid proposal not including women's reproductive rights and all.

All three of them responded, two with long almost combative responses, the third with a somewhat form letter response.

Although I think all three of them were wrong to allow their personal religious beliefs to over shadow logic, at least they immediately responded and two of them personally in detail. Maybe it is a Liberal thing, although I somehow doubt that.

By that time I had given up on writing the Harpercons. it appears that they have to get all responses approved beforehand,

I couldn't imagine working in that environment. Here you are a lawyer or professional that has decided to run for public office, which in all honesty is not that easy a career choice.

And you reach that pinnacle at age 45 to 50 years only to find out that your communication back to your constituents must be approved by an under 30 year old PMO intern who filters it through the central politburo.

No wonder the original western reformers are resigning.
Baghman Sarghthy said…
Omar Alghabra is a liar! What gives him the right to erect 'relect Omar Alghabra' signs. He is not the incumbent. Shame on you!
WILLY said…

Two reasons:

The first one, he was our MP and we want to re-elect him. You idiot.

My guess on the second reason, he ran out of signs from this year's print run and is using some from the last election.

It happens to candidates whose popularity has increased more than expected.

So go troll some where else.


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