Are You There Marty? It’s Me, Guelph

When Marty Burke makes a public statement, you can usually count on hearing a couple of things. One is his version of the amazing ability of the Conservatives to turn any conversation into a misleading diatribe on coalitions, and the other is how much talking he does with the people of Guelph. According to him, he’s always getting out there, knocking on doors, talking to Canadians. He’s got a good grasp on what Guelphites do and do not care about.

Maybe he is getting out there. Maybe he’s knocked on more doors than anyone in the recorded history of door knocking, and maybe his count is even higher when you factor in all the knocking he did in the days before he turned pro. But no candidate, no matter how hard he may try, can knock on every door. There will always be people who don’t get personal visits, probably a lot of them. There’s me, for a start. Not a single candidate has knocked on my door, and that’s fine with me. I like it when people don’t knock on my door. That’s one of the reasons I live in a building with a secure entrance. Besides, that’s what debates and interviews are for.

Ahh yes…debates and interviews. there have been a lot of those, and they’re where the fun starts. Marty Burke, he who to hear him tell it never passes up a chance to interact with the inhabitants of the Royal City, has a wee bit of a problem showing his face at those things. He’s missed out on question and answer sessions with high school students designed to get kids interested in voting and the political process. Last week he skipped not only a discussion on poverty and social issues, but also an all candidates debate put on by the city’s biggest newspaper.

The poverty one he missed because, according to Twitter, he said he was busy talking to the people of Guelph. There’s that line again. Never mind that a couple hundred people attended that evening’s event. that raises the question, are the people of Guelph not poor or concerned about them, or can Super Marty knock on more than 200 doors in a 2 hour period?

the Mercury debate he withdrew from 90 minutes before it started citing an old military injury, but he was back out there campaigning less than a day later.I don’t want to sit here and say that he was faking it, I have no idea. But given his attendance record and those of other Conservative candidates around the country, I am going to sit here and wonder about it.

And now I’m reading thathe hasn’t agreed to an interview with CFRU’s election radio show.This one astounds me. He wouldn’t have to show up early in the morning for a live interview. The folks at the FRU are generally pretty accomodating, and I’m sure that any or all of the people hosting the show would be willing to record in advance either in person or by phone when it suited his schedule.

So what have we learned? Marty Burke likes talking to the people of Guelph, unless those people are poor, care about the plight of the poor, are students, attend debates, sponsor debates, are allowed to ask questions or listen to or host community radio shows. And in all of this I haven’t even brought upthe ballot box thingagain.

If Burke is ignoring these people now when every vote counts, what do you suppose is going to happen if he’s elected? Marty Burke and the Conservatives have as much real interest in listening to the people as I have in Dancing with the Stars. None whatsoever.

I want you all to go out and vote if you haven’t done it already. the advance polls are still open today, and you can vote at your local returning office until tomorrow. If all of that fails, May 2nd is your friend. You can vote for whoever you’d like, the choice is your own. But if you care about your city, your province and your country, choosing who won’t get your vote should be easy. Vote for somebody who’s willing to show up, answer hard questions and not turn everything into an attack on the constitution or the opposition. As far as I’m concerned that leaves you with all but one candidate, and I’d tell Marty Burke that to his face if only I could find him.

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