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The Riding Office

There can be no denying that Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale is a large riding. Geographically, it is massive, so the positioning of a constituency office is key, which is why many of us have questioned the location of David Sweet’s riding office.

Currently, the office is in Greensville, in West Flamborough and is largely inaccessible for most of his constituents. It’s remote and not on a bus line, so what is a constituent in need to do?

Well, Sweet has pledged that one of his office staffers will come and pick anyone up at the end of the bus line (a strange arrangement in itself) but there is no phone at the end of the bus line. In fact, there is nothing at the end of the bus line except for a bus stop.

This is an issue that McMaster University political science professor
Henry Jacek took Sweet to task for in the Dundas Star many months ago (sorry, no link). In response Sweet pledged to hold remote office hours. At first the remote office hours were to be held year round, on weekends, then after figuring that it would take too much time, Sweet scaled them back to only the fall, winter and spring. Apparently summer is too hot for him.

But, we’ve only had a handful of remote office hours so far - a few in the fall and one just after Thanksgiving. The remainder had to be either rescheduled or cancelled due to scheduling conflicts.

To Sweet this is not a problem as he commented in a McMaster University student publication that the majority of communication with constituents is done through e-mail or over the phone. The question now becomes how quickly Sweet’s office actually gets back to you. There have been numerous complaints (including a variety of letters to the editor in the Dundas Star) regarding the tardiness of Sweet’s office. In fact, many constituents have waited up to two months for a response from his office, while some do not get a reply at all.

It is rather farcical that David Sweet’s
homepage can boast of him “working for you” when he seems to be doing little of it.

Effective? Not even close.



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