Your money, their ads
Today, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has sent out a letter demanding an end to the rampant use of "10 percenters," as they're called, which are basically political flyers sent out to ridings by MPs, using taxpayer dollars.
It turns out that the Liberals' demands of today are quite similar to ones they raised while they were the ruling party; a concern that Conservatives portrayed back then as a death-bed conversion in the latter days of Paul Martin's government. But what interested Conservatives back then, in terms of taxpayer-financed advertising, was larger. I found this interesting little transcript of a committee debate from 2005, in which Jay Hill, now the Government House Leader, says this during an exchange over the pamphlets:
This is an issue that I have repeatedly raised, Mr. Chairman. Every time this issue has come up, I've said that I'm more than willing to look at the use of householders and the use of ten percenters as soon as the government starts to be aware of the need to look at how they spend millions upon millions of tax dollars. That's the first point.
I've never heard any concession on the part of the government that we should maybe take a look at whether it's appropriate to put up big banners, ads, and logos advertising the Government of Canada, because it gives an unfair advantage to whoever the government is. Over the past dozen of years, that has obviously been the Liberal Party of Canada. They've blurred the lines, and it has been well reported in the Gomery report that they blurred the lines between what was in the best interests of the Liberal Party of Canada and what was in the best interests of the Government of Canada.