Thursday, April 21, 2005

Sauce for the goose? Are you kidding?

Babble on.

Below is a press release from the National Citizens Coalition. I am publishing it in its entirety simply because I agree with it in its entirety.

NCC Says Corbeil Allegations Point to Liberal Hypocrisy on Gag law

(Toronto, April 21, 2005) The National Citizens Coalition says recent allegations suggest the federal Liberals are supreme hypocrites when it comes to election gag laws.

"The Liberal government enacted an election gag law supposedly to ensure a fair vote" says NCC vice president Gerry Nicholls. "Yet according to allegations from Benoit Corbeil, the former director of the Quebec wing of the Liberal party, the same Liberal government secretly violated Quebec’s gag law during the 1995 referendum."

Corbeil told Radio-Canada yesterday that "secret" Liberal funds were spent to aid the federalist forces in the referendum and that such spending clearly violated, if not smashed, Quebec electoral laws.

"Apparently, the Liberals think its OK for them to spend money to influence voters, even if it means breaking the law, but independent groups and private citizens must keep quiet during federal elections or go to jail," says Nicholls. "The Liberal mindset on this is not only hypocritical, it’s scary."

Nicholls points out that the Liberal government dragged the NCC into court, accusing it of breaking the gag law during the 2000 federal election.

"It seems the same Liberals who allegedly broke the Quebec gag law, were persecuting us for supposedly breaking the federal gag law,” says Nicholls. "It shows that the Liberal justification for this law – the need to create a level playing field – was a sham. They don’t care about level playing fields, they only care about stifling dissent."

The federal Liberal gag law imposes severe restrictions on what private citizens or groups can spend to express opinions during federal elections.

The NCC battled this law in the courts arguing it infringed on freedom of expression but last year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled it was constitutional.

This is an unjust law imposed by an unjust regime. On its own merits, the gag law should be repealed; but especially so now that it has proven so susceptible to exploitation and abuse. If the object of the law, however misguided, was to level the playing field during an election campaign, it has proven woefully inadequate to the task.

Babble off.


At 3:50 p.m., Blogger Greg said...

My feeling is, rather than get rid of the federal law, the Liberals who violated the Quebec law should go to the big house.

At 4:07 p.m., Blogger Warwick said...

Well Said. You can add that the gag law is clearly unconstitutional and the only way the Liberals were allowed to keep it on the books was by stacking the supreme court with partisan judges.

In another story, Lawyers who worked for free on Liberal campaigns ended up judges. See a connection here?

At 4:43 p.m., Blogger Declan said...

So if the party in power was guilty of murder that would be a reason to remove murder from the criminal code?

That's an extreme example, but it's logically equivalent to what you and the NCC are saying.

I'm with Greg on this one.

At 5:22 p.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Declan, you may want to reread my post ("On its own merits, the gag law should be repealed...") and the piece I wrote earlier (linked under "unjust law"). I'm not asserting that the law should be ditched solely because the Libranos circumvented it.

At 11:26 p.m., Blogger Declan said...

Hmm, apparently the last time I commented on this it never registered.

Anyway, I read the post fine. Perhaps I should have clarified that I was referring to the part where you said, "especially so now that it has proven so susceptible to exploitation" which I took to mean that you thought the Liberal actions provided justification for repealing the law.

Hypocrisy is annoying but it's just hypocrisy - it doesn't prove that a law is invalid when someone breaks it.


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