Yesterday I posted about Carol Goar's column in the Toronto Star praising Canada's election finance laws.
Well I also sent the Star a letter to the editor on the subject, which was not published.
So here it is:
Re: Election financing comes clean – January 3, 2007
Before Carol Goar deifies the politicians behind Canada’s election finance laws, she should realize there is another side to the coin.
Simply put, these laws infringe on important democratic rights and freedoms.
Imposing excessive restrictions on political contributions, for instance, clearly limits the right to free expression.
Likewise, the election “gag law” --which makes it a crime for citizens or non-partisan groups to spend their own money to express their own views –undermines the right to democratic free speech.
Nor will these draconian finance laws make for “cleaner” elections.
If anything, they will simply help incumbents and drive political influence seeking underground.
In short, you can’t improve democracy by destroying freedom.