Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Pork and Free Speech

One of the arguments used by those who favour election gag laws -- laws which severely restrict how much non-politicians can spend on political ads -- is they stop money from influencing elections.

Yes we can't have citizens spending their own money to express their own viewpoints. That would destroy democracy!

Yet it's apparently OK for politicians to spend billions of dollars of other people's money to influence voters.

Case in point, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced yesterday they would spend $4.5-billion on mass transit and road improvements for the Greater Toronto Area.

And, of course, we are supposed to believe it's just a coincidence that all this money is being spent in what could be an election year federally and what will certainly be an election year provincially.

Once upon a time, the National Citizens Coalition could have run ads during an election to condemn this type of pork-barrelling, but today that would be illegal.

We would be unfairly trying to "buy votes."

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of pork another Liberal bites the dust today as the local media in Huron County is announcing that back-bencher and long time MP for Huron-Bruce(of long-gun and fatigues fame) is retiring.

What's that now. One Liberal bites the dust every week since Dion has become leader?

There's got to be more to this than just old age, no? Is the writing on the wall for the old guard?

Anonymous said...

Sweet! Maybe Harper can pick up another Ontario riding?

Miles Lunn said...

I am not against having some spending limits as politicians do, but they should be a lot higher than now. If the limit was say $10 million as opposed to $150,000, I would support the gag law since very few groups can realistically raise that amount of money anyways. However, $150,000 may be a lot for one individual, but any sizeable organization can raise that amount. I am sure most left wing groups (especially those that rely on union dues and government subsidies) could easily go over $150,000.

As for Paul Steckle, I sure hope not. While I disagree with his views on social issues, this is the only Liberal riding left in Rural Southern Ontario and I would hate to see it go Conservative. Even if one supports the Conservatives, it would be good if there were more Liberals elected in rural areas and likewise more Conservatives in urban areas since it allows the party to have a more balanced view on all parts of the country rather than be highly regionalized.

Anonymous said...

Paul Steckle is a conservative in Liberal clothing. He's further right than many middle-conservatives. The Ben Lobb has this in the bag. Lobb only lost by a small margin last time.

Steckle - always a back-bencher. Can't do much from back there.

Stood up against the party line though....so good that way.

Miles Lunn said...

Anonymous - the Conservatives only likely have the riding in the bag if Paul Steckle doesn't run. And even then it depends on the overall shift in Ontario. The Conservatives will likely get over 40% if Paul Steckle doesn't run, but not over 50% so if the non-Conservative voters are angry enough that they unite behind the Liberals they could still potentially pull it off.

Ace said...

Huron-Bruce and the town of Goderich - one of my favourite areas of Ontario and certainly one of the most beautiful.

Politically, it's a Western riding. This one will go about 60% Conservative next time around since Steckle's not running.

Miles Lunn said...

Ace - Try something more like 45% since that is what the Tories got in other rural Southwestern Ontario ridings. There wasn't a single riding in Rural Ontario where the Tories cracked 60% and if they do next time around it will be in Eastern Ontario, not Southwestern Ontario. Ther were 7 ridings in Ontario they got over 50%, 6 in Eastern Ontario and one in Central Ontario (Wellington-Halton Hills). I would say Huron-Bruce is conservative relative to Ontario and probably just as conservative as the BC Interior (where I should note the Conservatives usually get under 50% also), but not nearly as conservative as Rural Alberta.

Ace said...

As long as we win, Miles, and the pro-terrorist, pro-paedophilia, pro-incest, pro-murder(abortion and euthanasia), pro-corruption, anti-freedom of speech, pro-Communist and anti-property rights Liebrano party don't...Canada will once again be glorious and free!

Miles Lunn said...

As long as we win, Miles, and the pro-terrorist, pro-paedophilia, pro-incest, pro-murder(abortion and euthanasia), pro-corruption, anti-freedom of speech, pro-Communist and anti-property rights Liebrano party don't...Canada will once again be glorious and free!


Quit the insults and nonsense. Most Liberals, Conservatives, and Dippers alike are good people who want to build a better Canada, they just have different viewpoints as to how this should be done.

Ace said...

Alfonso Gagliano, Jean Chretien, Omar Aleghabra, Joe Volpe, Navdeep Bains(son of a terrorist), Bill Graham victimizing young Lawrence Metherel, Gary Merasty's election fraud in Sask, zealous SCC judges declaring incestual and SSM free-for-alls, Mark Holland's plan to nationalize the oil sands...

It is NOT an insult, nor is it nonsense or even hyperbole to tell the truth about the moral filth into which Canada would continue to descend if the Liberals are not exterminated political force in this country.

I don't mind the NDP - at least they are simply naive and uninformed about the issues, unlike a criminal organization like the Liberal Party.