Monday, November 10, 2008

A Private Member's Bill

A number of recent polls showed that an overwhelming number of Canadians were offended by the attack ads taken out by the Conservative Party. Those polled indicated that our democratic process doesn’t benefit from such attack ads.. Attacks ads that were only made possible because their are no limits on advertising expenditure by political parties during the “pre-writ” period. If we have spending limits during an election, then why not have spending limits prior to elections, given election timing is at the whim of the party in office, as recently demonstrated by Stephen Harper, his fixed election promise notwithstanding?

Therefore to better perfect our democracy, a private members bill should be introduced immediately in the new session of Parliament that would prohibit any advertising be political parties during the period between elections. Political parties get no end to their “free advertising” by the press over the time between elections. As such, there should be no need for paid advertising. I for one, don’t want our political process to be determined by the party with the deepest pockets. If that were the case, then why do we have spending limits DURING elections, only to have them rendered less effective, by having no spending limits BETWEEN elections?

The political moon and stars are presently aligned in such a way that such a private members bill could pass. Who amongst the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc would object? Jack Layton? Gilles Duceppe? Who knows, maybe Stephane Dion could introduce the private member’s bill himself? It could be his lasting legacy for decorum in Canadian political life.


Northern PoV said...

Great idea

hey and double the fines if the ads are run within 60 days of the writ being dropped (ala the sweater commercials we saw just before Harper broke his own promise/law)

and lets start with limits around the 10%ers

Then we can ban all polling (public & private) during the election

Dr Mike said...

Harper will freak.

The attack adds were the basis for his election campaign & his subsequent victory.

Why say anything about your own policy when everyone already knows that "Dion is not a Leader".

Dr Mike Popovich.

DavidA said...

Let me get this want to level the playing field now that your beloved Libs can't get a massive cheque from Powercorp or their other corporate whoremasters?

Besides, how many private members bills actually get through?

Anonymous said...

DavidA said...

"Let me get this want to level the playing field now that your beloved Libs can't get a massive cheque from Powercorp or their other corporate whoremasters?"

You sure got that right, except Power Corporation and thei pimp friends are the "whoremasters", Harper is the total whore sell out:

Income trusts: The Inside Story
Globe and Mail
November 2, 2006

"High-profile directors and CEOs, meanwhile, had approached Mr. Flaherty personally to express their concerns: Many felt they were being pressed into trusts because of their duty to maximize shareholder value, despite their misgivings about the structure. Paul Desmarais Jr., the well-connected chairman of Power Corp. of Canada, even railed against trusts in a conversation with Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a trip to Mexico, and told him he should act quickly to stop the raft of conversions, according to sources."

Dr Mike said...

Hy DavidA

The inside track is that Harper will suspend all attack adds anyway.

He will appoint himself "King for Life" this coming Tuesday , to be effective immediately.

He says Everyone else can eat worms & die.

Dr Mike.

roblaw said...

Curious if the same rules should have applied to Barack Obama, with his 60 million commercial, and the most massive financial expenditure in U.S. election history..

But, that being said, even though I think the current Liberal appetite for spending limits comes from a little post-election dissappointment, the idea that special interests can "buy" elections and more importantly, "buy" politicians is a significant concern that all citizens should be concerned over.

Though - I do wonder how we will deal with the most substantial Liberal policy juggernaut, CBC.. and it's admitted liberal leaning editorial staff.

WesternGrit said...

Keep posting this. Start a Facebook Group for it.


I was all for advertising limits - even back in 1993. Especially 3rd party ads.

This is the democratic thing to do. Why should we be subjected to political ads when there is no election - and by who-ever has the most money?

This is not Liberal angst about a loss due to little funds. I - and many other Liberals - am fairly confident that we are going to turn into a fund-raising juggernaut. We've been humiliated at the polls, have been put to shame by our Southern "cousins", and we're motivated. What the Reform/Alliance/Conservative Party did with fund-raising is not rocket science. Anyone can do it - it's just a matter of getting down and doing it. Having the will-power. Liberals have that will-power right now: And it starts with the changes to our leadership fund-raising structure.

FredM said...

So what you are saying here is change the rules so the liberals will have a chance. If liberals would have won this article would not have been written. Typical