Election financing. We have regulated speech, not free speech, in Canada. This means that groups and individuals (“third parties”) cannot spend as much money as they’d like for (or against) candidates in an election. (For more on Canada’s gag law, this Calgary Herald editorial explains.)
This runs contrary to rules of free speech. I am against that law. But it still stands. And if Friends of Science and Barry Cooper can be charged, as the Herald piece explains they were, who else should be?
Why am I asking these questions? Because I’m curious to know how much money pro-abortion groups are spending telling me not to vote for Harper? Has anyone asked that? Are they registered? Should they be?
Representatives from Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, Canadian Labour Congress, the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women, Federation du Quebec pour le planning des naissances and Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD) held the press conference, describing themselves as a united front in the mobilization of women voters.
Does spending money telling voters who not to vote for (Harper) qualify under the Elections Spending Act?
Let me be very clear–I think those pro-abortion groups should be allowed to speak freely, and spend as much as they want. But what I’m not keen on is a double standard, whereby groups on the “wrong” side are charged (Friends of Science, National Citizens Coalition to name but two) and groups with elite support (pro-abortion groups) are not.
(Cross-posted to The Shotgun.)
Brigitte is jumping up and down, clapping her hands: Oh, good one! Any minute now, we should expect the thought police Elections Canada to descend on the gals, right? Right?
Véronique must start reading more Alberta-based newspapers. Whoa, this is so refreshing to read!by