Thursday, August 13, 2009

"10 Percenters" Reaching Around Riding Boundaries in PEI

Every so often, I see mailings from the local Toronto councillor, Kyle Rae, for Ward 27-Toronto Centre-Rosedale. Rae sends out a newsletter of what's going on in the ward. From a street re-alignment project on Davenport near Yonge to an upcoming hazardous disposal day this autumn. I haven't seen anything from the MP, Bob Rae, but maybe I'm too concerned with what's on deal at Metro {Dominion}, Ikea, or Canadian Tire to spot them.

Out in PEI, political mailings are a hot topic. Above is a "ten percenter" from Shawn Murphy of the Charlottetown riding. The idea behind these is for an MP to send out flyers to 10% of the constituents in their riding. Stephen Taylor blogged about this anti-Ignatieff ten percenter last month::.

The CBC has an article on controversial "ten percenters" being mailed out in PEI. The controversy is that MPs are sending "ten percenters" outside of their ridings. Malpeque, neighbouring Charlottetown in central PEI has been hit particularly hard. Why? While it went Liberal in 2006 and 2008, it's a swing riding with the vote within 5% {924 votes} last October::

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation wants these to stop, which now rack up bills to the tune of $9.4M in printing costs, only allowing the fliers be sent to MP's own ridings.
I'm curious about the strategies used in terms of narrowcasting with the mailing lists and how they're being used in integrated marketing communications tied to events, Web 2.0, etc. I'm not quite sure how I feel about limiting mailings only to riding constituents, let alone the thorny issue of many of these mailings being shameless electioneering. Maybe I'm jaded, but I see this as politics-as-usual. I'm just hoping for an MP to mail out something really controversial like a spray paint stencil with slogans, images, etc.
Twitterversion:: #CBC reports on "10 percenters" being sent outside of MP's ridings. #CanPoli @Prof_K

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