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Old 05-18-2004, 01:20 PM   #1
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2 nations, 2 upcoming elections, 2 directions for a similar law

in the united states of america the new york times (half way down, 'partisanship takes a holiday') comments on the Federal Election Commission's vote for limits on 3rd party political advertising, fundraising and activities.

as you all know, the u.s. has a staunchly conservative government in power. democrats are challenging in the november election and the most prevalent and visible among these 3rd party groups support them. after realizing this, Democrats discovered the 'virtues of laissez-faire policy and urged the commission to do nothing'. the republicans, however, 'became born-again regulators and urged the commission to limit these so-called 527 groups.'

in canada, the globe and mail comments on the supreme court upholding the federal election act which limits 3rd party political advertising, fundraising and activities.

as some of you know, canada has a liberal government in party (best described as being canada's parallel to america's democrats). likely in late june, an election will be called where the conservative opposition is likely the only threat to liberal rule.

the national citizens coalition, a conservative group formerly headed by now conservative party leader stephen harper (who commenced this legal action against the federal government regarding the elections act), says the 3rd party limits strip 'away our basic freedoms of expression...All this law will do is protect politicians from criticism...What the Supreme Court has done today is stab our democracy through the throat.'

america____________nation_____________canada
conservative__________gov_____________lib/dem
dem/lib__________electoral challenger_____conservative
conservative___supporter of 3rd party limit___lib/dem
dem/lib_______challenger of 3rd party limit_____conservative

interestingly, these 2 media sources, arguably the most trusted from their respective nations, seem blissfully unaware of one another; especially the globe, where the supreme court decision on the federal election act is pretty big news. having said that, in all the canadian coverage i have consumed from various outlets, i have not seen a single mention of the parallel american case. i, myself, was unaware until i came across it in my sunday times. granted this times story had a slightly different spin to it, but i would have expected more from the globe.
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Old 05-18-2004, 08:38 PM   #2
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I've been blaming our infernally long campaign season on big money in campaigns, which, it seems, is a problem that can't be fixed. While we are not going to see a candidate who spends $90 million of his own money on his campaign again (a Democrat from Texas spent $90 million of his own money on his campaign for Congress in 2002, and lost), it's clear that megabucks is in politics for good, no matter how many rules they pass about campaign finance. The controversy is sparked by the fact that the current laws favor the Republicans, thus, groups supporting Democrats have cropped up and are getting away with it by not explicitly endorsing Kerry. The conservatives seem to have similar problems in Canada. I hate this eight-month long campaignathon in the U.S. and wish the campaign wasn't going to start until the conventions. I can forget about this. Damn.
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:00 PM   #3
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I disagree on one aspect, the US does not have a staunchly conservative government in power, unless the meaning of 'conservative' has become utterly bastardised.

The US has a radical right wing government in power. This isn't even an insult - they describe themselves as 'movement' conservatives. They are about remaking society in their own image - NOT what I associate with traditional conservative thought.
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Old 05-19-2004, 08:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kieran McConville
I disagree on one aspect, the US does not have a staunchly conservative government in power, unless the meaning of 'conservative' has become utterly bastardised.

The US has a radical right wing government in power. This isn't even an insult - they describe themselves as 'movement' conservatives. They are about remaking society in their own image - NOT what I associate with traditional conservative thought.
in hindsight, i would agree with that.

interestingly this is the image which canada's liberal's hope to be paint the conservative leader, stephen harper, into. the bush administration does not have the greatest reputation in canada, so the liberal strategy may just work.
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Old 05-19-2004, 11:47 AM   #5
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if steven harper gets in i'll resign from canada
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