Tuesday, December 06, 2005
NCC Billboard Protests Gag Law
To protest the federal election gag law, the National Citizens Coalition has put up an unusual billboard in downtown Toronto.
The billboard doesn’t have a catchy slogan, or an election message, or any words at all.
It simply features the stark image of a man with tape across his mouth.
Our billboard symbolizes our loss of free election speech. The gag law stifles free election speech. It undermines democracy. It prevents us from effectively participating in the election debate currently raging across the country.”
The election gag law, which was enacted in 2000, imposes severe restrictions on how much money non-politicians can spend on election advertising.
The NCC has battled gag laws in the courts until last year when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled them to be constitutional.
Under the gag law only politicians and political parties have the right to effectively and freely speak out during elections. Everybody else has to keep quiet. We think that’s wrong. We think everyone should be free to participate in the election process.
The gag law prevents important issues from being discussed and debated. Groups on all sides of the political spectrum will be silenced.
The only items on the election agenda will be those items the politicians want to discuss. That’s bad for democracy.