The arrogance just keeps getting worse

What’s Wrong With Bill 42?
Bill 42, the Election Amendment Act, places extreme limits on public interest advertising and communication in B.C. from December of this year until the May, 2009 provincial election.

How does Bill 42 limit free speech?
Bill 42 changes the definition of third party advertising to include “an advertising message that promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, a registered political party… including an advertising message that takes a position on an issue with which a registered political party or candidate is associated.” Read the full text here.

And Bill 42 limits any spending on public interest communication for a full five months before the election. Public advocacy organizations, environmental groups, unions and others will have their ability to print materials or buy advertising limited to $3,000 in a riding or $150,000 in total from December of this year to after May, 2009.

$150,000 seems like a lot of money, isn’t that enough?
The reality is, advocacy organizations, whether they’re speaking in the interests of a resource industry or public education are part of a democracy and they spend money to inform the public about their issues.

For example one 30-second ad on prime time TV can cost $14,000. Under these rules, that’s only one minute per month to talk about the importance of education or public health care or climate change to future generations.

Aren’t spending limits good for democracy?
Bill 42 actually places new limits on democratic participation.

Bill 42 DOES NOT restrict political party donations.

Bill 42 INCREASES political parties’ campaign spending limits to an amount that can only be reached by the BC Liberal Party, with the support of corporate donations.

And Bill 42 places new limits on ID requirements for voter registration that disadvantage low income and homeless people in our communities.

Read more about Bill 42 on The Tyee.
Find out what others are saying about Bill 42.
Gordon Campbell wants you to just shut up. Will you?

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