Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Liberals want more gag laws

Well the federal Liberals are once again declaring war on free election speech.

Recall in 2000 it was Prime Minister Jean Chretien who imposed the infamous election gag law on Canadians -- the law which makes it a crime for citizens to spend their own money to express their own views during federal election.

That was bad enough.

Now Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff wants to extend that gag law so that it also covers the period three months prior to the election.

This is sad but not surprising.

Once you buy into the logic that it's OK to squelch free expression you start heading down a slippery slope; you can always justify further restrictions.

First the gag law was only supposed to be in force during elections; now the Liberals also want to gag Canadians before elections.

Before you know it, it will be illegal for citizens to run political ads at any time.

14 comments:

wilson said...

So, are you saying we are better off with Harper?

Gerry Nicholls said...

We would definitely be better off if Harper had abolished the gag law.

Let's hope he at least opposes this Liberal bill.

paulsstuff said...

So if I understand correctly. Ignatieff thinks those ads that the Conservative's are now running, which he insists are not working, should be banned.

Why ban something he insists has no effect on Canadian's?

And one more question. Say some disgruntled provincial Premier, let's call him Danny Williams, runs ads in that 3-month period against, say the Conservative's. Which political party gets those ad costs put towards their expense limit?

Reid said...

So 1 year after a general election a political party runs some ads. 1 week after the ads run the government falls on a vote of non confidence. So the political party that ran the ads is retroactively guilty of breaking the law. Brilliant M.I., real brilliant.

Mutton Chops said...

Pretty soon election outcomes will be ENTIRELY decided by the media since all other voices will be silenced.

AToryNoMore said...

Two issues that are not the same:

1) We should not allow any kind of challenge to the erosion of free speech at any time.

Courts determine whether statements or whatever are slanderous or libelous and if need be award damages. Thats what the courts are for.

2) Political advertising should be viewed as just that, political advertising. Voter beware!

Anonymous said...

If the lieberals had any money do you think they would push this kind of BS??
Rob.C

kursk said...

..and it's coming from the Liberal dominated senate.

If this bill passes, the playing ground first becomes even for the cash strapped Liberal party, and then becomes tilted in their favour when their defacto political communications wing in the MSM becomes the only voice being heard.

The Conservatives have earned the right to be heard through ads bought and paid for by many thousands of donations. The Liberals are just crying foul because they know they cannot match the fundraising in order to place expensive ads. They would prefer to hear no voice but their own.

Brian Gardiner said...

Am I missing something? The kind of ads being banned wouldn't be by political parites, it would be third party ads, no? Those Conservative ads would be find any time, but ads by the Taxpayers Federation wouldn't be (somehow, these laws never seem to apply to teh CAW). Or am I misreading that?

Paul said...

Harper is as guilty as the Liberals. Before I could donate $5,000 to a party of MY CHOICE. Harper reduced that to $1,100. It is MY MONEY. I should be able to decide how to spend MY MONEY. Harper has betrayed us all.

Xanthippa said...

Logic dictates that we will now HAVE TO have a 3 month warning BEFORE the election is called, right?

After all, how else would we be able to know that this is the '3 months before an election' period?

In other words, IF a minority government gets defeated in a vote in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister will HAVE TO announce: "All right, the Government has been defeated. 3 months from now, I'll call an election, so moderate your ad spending accordingly...and I will, of course, rule until then!"

Ignatieff ought to reign in the loose cannons in his party before they squander away whatever shreds of credibility still cling to the Liberals these days...cult of personality will only credit the 'prince-wanna-be' so far!

Foster said...

Who cares what Harper does? What are the NCC, the CTF, and other organized concerned citizens going to do? Sit on their hands.

If there is no public pressure, the Conservatives will offer less than 100% opposition and there will be no chance that the Liberals will reconsider their tabled legislation.

Why Gerry, do you expect the government to do what we the citizen should be doing... opposing this idea?

Gerry Nicholls said...

Brian:

Political parties have spending limits during elections, but they are like $30 million.

On the other hand, "third parties", under the gag law, are limited to something like $188,000 for national campaigns and just $3,000 for local ones.

Tym_Machine said...

This is really going to make me think twice before voting liberal to punish our closet-socialist prime minister, Stephen Harper and his conservative fellows.