Have you noticed Tony Clement lately?
In summer he’s around the riding a lot so it’s easier to run into him in the grocery store, but it’s also the time when the national media lays off a bit on targeting him and his actions, so you see less of him on television and in the larger newspapers.
We, however, have decided to pay pointed attention to our MP. As the American right celebrate him as a poster boy for businesslike politics (see this month’s Forbes magazine), we are reminded of the power he holds in this country.
As president of the treasury, his portfolio is massive. Forbes likened him to the COO of the county and while Clement shied away from that description, in some ways it’s apt.
He’s got a hold of the purse strings. He’s responsible for managing the government’s fiscal and administrative responsibilities including management of the civil service and oversight of expenditures. He also plays a big role as chief information officer and he’s the go-to guy for regulatory policy.
Don’t forget he’s also the minister for FedNor.
And we’re responsible for him. It’s the people of Parry Sound-Muskoka that give him greater support with every election. At over 25,000 votes in the last election, he garnered the most votes of any politician ever in this riding. Stan Darling came close but was still a few thousand short of Clement.
We think, given our minister’s power in the Conservative Party and his ambition, that it is the responsibility of us all as voters to keep our eye on how he acts in our name.
He says he’s an idealist with the values of you, his constituent, at the heart of his actions. The question remains, does he represent your values?
The only way you can know is by keeping yourself informed about how he’s voting and what he supports as the Conservative majority moves forward.
We can tell you that his voting record in Parliament is over 90 per cent and that he will absolutely toe the party line.
We know he voted against loosening legislation on the right to die and he will do the same again when it comes up, as he expects it to. He was fully behind abolishing the long gun registry and the long form census. He supported his government’s changes to OAS.
And we know that he wants to hear your opinion and says he reads every email, tweet and letter that comes across his desk.
So, as the voter behind the man who sits behind the big desk, we urge you to let him know what you think.
Take a page from the Conservative playbook and make it all about accountability. Yours and your M.P.’s.
Because in the end, you put him there and you keep him there. He’s your man in Parliament.