Got any idea who your NDP Member of Parliament is? Me neither.
For those of us who are forced to endure the scourge and ignominy of New Democrat representation — there are 103 such ridings in the House of Commons — innumerable mysteries abound. Such as the name of our MP, what he/she has done, and kind of important stuff like that.
Take a minute and ask yourself: “Who is my MP, anyway?”
If it’s one of those shiny new New Democrat MPs, the chances are excellent that you don’t know the answer. Since the May 2 election, they’ve been as invisible as air, mostly.
The Toronto riding where I live, for instance, was represented by a Liberal MP for many years. I used to hear from her all the time — leaflets in the mailbox, householder pamphlets, columns in the community paper, appearances at local events. She seemed to work pretty hard at letting constituents know what was going on up in Ottawa, and what her position was on the issues of the day.
But the NDP guy who beat her a few months ago? I don’t know his name, and I can tell you that none of my neighbours or friends do, either. They — like me, and I’m allegedly one of those folks who lives and breathes politics — think he has been as elusive as a Yeti riding a unicorn.
So I set out to find him.
I turned to the Interweb, and this helpful new website called “Google.” There, I learned that the name of the New Democrat who represents my East Toronto riding is “Matthew Kellway.” That led me to his NDP-branded website. I learned that he has made statements in the House of Commons about the importance of Toronto’s waterfront, and also about why people should stop picking on postal workers. He’s also commented on seniors, and something called the South Asian Women’s Rights Organization. And there was a lot — a lot — about the death of Jack Layton.
In the clippings section of his website, we learn he’s been in the pages of a daily newspaper three times since E-day. That’s it.
I therefore wrote to Kellway’s office first thing on Monday morning, to ask them for “a breakdown of achievements, statements, etc.” I waited as long as I could but didn’t get a response.
Now, I don’t want to pick on Matthew Kellway, because he seems like an inoffensive fellow, who I distantly recall having met once. But I wanted to make a point.
My point is this: The gaggle of new New Democrats have been — with the exception of the postal strike, and the mourning of Jack Layton — largely missing in action. We don’t know what they’ve been doing.
For many of the newbie Dipper parliamentarians, I suppose, this is the best job they’ve ever had. They have been elevated from their university studies, or barkeep duties, to Canada’s supreme legislature. They can’t believe their good fortune.
If they want to keep their perk-laden new jobs, however, they’d better start getting their collective behinds in gear. To put a fine point on it, they’d better start working.
What the voters giveth, the voters can taketh away, Team NDP. Believe it.