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Ding dong, the flyers are gone

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Gone are the days of Canadians receiving taxpayer funded, partisan flyers from MPs they’ve never heard of who represent ridings thousands of miles away.


After an NDP motion to eliminate the 10 percenters (see my previous blog entry for a longer explanation) passed a couple of weeks ago, the issue went to the BOard of Internal Economy for final approval.


Today the board - made up of MPs from all parties and chaired by House Speaker Peter Milliken - decided MPs can still send 10 percenters but only within their own ridings.


Manitoba Cabinet Minister Steven Fletcher - who said previously 10- percenters were "essential to our democracy" - said this afternoon his party will abide by the ruling.


"Ten percenters have been helpful in the discourse of public debate," he said. "But whatever parties have agreed to we’ll go with."


NDP MP David Christopherson said he thinks now Parliament will have to come up with a way to let opposition critics communicate with people outside their own ridings.


There is however a simple solution. Parliament isn’t saying MPs can’t communicate with voters outside their own ridings. All this means is that taxpayers will no longer be footing the bill.


Consider it a $10 million contribution to getting rid of the deficit.

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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