MIA Conservative MPs should be mocked says political professor

Alberta voters are being taken for granted by Conservative MPs who are actively avoiding public forums and all but invisible during the 2011 federal election campaign says a University of Calgary political science professor.

"It’s appalling that during an election campaign one party consistently absents itself" says Doreen Barrie.

Calgary East MP Deepak Obhrai told the Herald he sees no need to debate his opponents particularly Liberal candidate Josipa Petrunic because she’s only a "visitor from Toronto." Other Conservative MPs are either stumping in swing ridings outside the province or sitting on the fence about whether they’ll participate in a public debate.

The narrative is that it’s a smart political strategy for incumbents who want to avoid any gaffes — even if it’s in an almost impenetrable Conservative stronghold. But it’s unacceptable behaviour says Barrie.

"Albertans have to start protesting and Albertans have to be made aware of how much they’re being taken for granted" she says. "We have to start saying How dare you.’ And until people learn those three little words I think we’ll have a problem."