Monday, August 07, 2006

Unions, the NDP and gag laws

According to Elections Canada, big unions and their allies spent about $354,000 on political advertising during the last federal election.

And surprise, surprise the bulk of that money went to support NDP candidates or NDP policies.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) even spent $287 to buy a leather jacket for NDP leader Jack Layton!

Of course, one problem with all this is that union bosses are using forced dues to finance this spending. In other words, they are forcing employees who pay dues to pay for a political agenda they probably may not support.

That's undemocratic.

This pro-NDP campaign also highlights a problem with the election gag law. That's the law which makes it a crime for citizens or indepedent groups to spend more than about $170,000 on political advertising during an election.

The National Citizens Coalition, for instance, would be severly limited if we wanted to mount a pro-free enterprise ad campaign.

Yet unions, by pooling their resources into a common goal, such as supporting the NDP, can spend many times more than the official gag law limit.

This might lead some politicians to call for tigher gag law limits.

A better answer, however, would be to scrap it altogether.

1 comment:

Miles Lunn said...

I would like to see the gag law scrapped or at least loosened somewhat. Besides I believe unions should be allowed to fund political campaigns, however I think members should only be required to pay for the cost of bargaining and pensions, not political campaigns.