Friday, May 02, 2008

Hoy on gag laws

Claire Hoy has a good column on how Opposition parties are making a tempest out of a teapot regarding this Elections Canada investigation of the Conservative Party.

Hoy says even if the Tories did over spend in the 2006 election, it doesn't mean, as some Liberals and NDP are claiming, that the results were tainted or illegitimate.

Big spending alone does not guarantee political victory.

More important is Hoy's conclusion:

Harper is right in suggesting that Elections Canada is using its power as a grudge match against his earlier criticisms, and we can only hope that if he garners a majority in the next election - and given the weak Liberal leadership that's a real possibility - he'll not only get Elections Canada out of the business of telling political parties where they should spend their advertising dollars, but he'll nuke those dreadful "gag laws" and restore free speech to those Canadians who care enough about the political process to exercise it, whether they are on the right, the left, the middle or somewhere in cyberspace.


Greg said...

As long as you believe that not following the rules is not cheating, then no, the results were not tainted. If you believe that rules are for slaves and suckers, then no, the results were not tainted. For the rest of us, there is a lingering doubt.

Robert McClelland said...

Big spending alone does not guarantee political victory.

Corking your bat doesn't guarantee a better hitting average either.

Anonymous said...

Robert, that's a bad analogy, as it's shown that Corking a bat has absolutely no effect on how the ball is hit. It's superstition.

Secondly, the ads they bought were local, not national. They bought ads to appear on local stations, not country wide ads (with that particular money).

Thirdly, how stupid do you think Canadians are? After seeing a Tory ad twice, they remain Liberal voters, but after the third time, they switch?

Stop feigning outrage and actually contribute something meaningful to the debate...

Oh ya, I forgot, the debate is only meaningful on one side.

Robert McClelland said...

Stop feigning outrage

Stop apologizing for the rule breakers.

Anonymous said...

TangoJuliette sez:
It looks like the "overe-spending" accusation is valid ONLY IF the "In/Out" scenario is proven to be illegal.

This is still a far cry from the Liberal serial rip-offs in the preceding 13 years, where, according to Gomery Commission Reports, millions of dollars were stolen, and at least 22 Liberal riding associations received illegal cash paymnents in the ever-popular plain brown envelopes.

Which 22 riding financed their campaigns with stloen money? What? The Liebranos won't say?
Then let's assume that EVERY riding tahey've won in the past few elections is tainted, and their MP is suspect.

If the Conservatives did anything wrong, they'll pay for it, in Buck$ and in Vote$.

But note: the money spent was their own money, raised in donations from their supporters. This is not cash stolen from the government vaults a la liebranoid mode...



Monkey Loves to Fight said...

I believe election advertising can make a difference. I doubt the 6 point lead the Tories had over the Liberals would have changed due to this, but when one looks at a riding by riding basis, the Tories only needed a small shift towards the Liberals to lose the last election. As for Harper, getting a majority, it won't happen, especially not as Canada is heading for a recession. Recessions is usually when governments are tossed from power. Despite Dion's personal weaknesses, the Liberal party has a stronger image amongst the public than the Conservatives. More importantly, far more Canadians are philosophically centrist or centre-left than right wing, so a strong split on the centre-left is what the Tories need to win. As for election spending limits, I believe that they should exist, but within reason, while the gag law should be repealed as only Quebec and Manitoba have one and it hasn't seemed to have affected other provinces. That being said, third party advertisers should still be required to register and list in each advertisement who is paying for them.

As for Elections Canada, I don't buy this argument they are picking on the Tories. Jean-Pierre Kingsley was appointed by Mulroney not Chretien and Marc Maynard the current one was appointed by Harper. Also countries with independent election agencies such as Canada and Britain have far fewer problems with election tampering the countries like the United States that like them. Voter caging, gerrymandering, placing more voting stations in precincts/polls that favour a certain party, denying legitimate voters the right to vote are far more rampant in the US than Canada or Britain. In fact Canada, Australia, Britain, and the Scandinavian countries are considered to have the fairest and least corrupted elections globally, so your argument holds no water.