Sunday, March 4, 2012

Did Harper break Election Day campaigning rules?

With all of this robocall talk, the NDP and Liberals have been dragging up every possible complaint to throw at Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, since they've now figured out there is absolutely no evidence against the Conservatives or the Prime Minister. Go figure!

One of the claims making a come back is that Harper broke the campaigning on Election Day ban.  Interestingly, you'll notice that none of the mainstream media covered this angle, because the claims are pure bogus!  The claim originates from this article by The Examiner's Jeromie Williams, who says Harper "defied Elections Canada rules and regulations that state no campaigning may be done during the media blackout on election day" when Harper told CKNW's radio show host Bill Good "It is certain that I will vote, and I encourage all other people to vote, and I encourage people to do the same as me and vote Conservative."

The first telling sign this claim is bogus is that there is no rule which states campaigning cannot be done on Election Day!

Seriously.  Here's the Canada Elections Act.  In fact, "campaigning" or "a campaign" isn't even defined!

The closest section that could bar campaigning is s. 323, which says you cannot "transmit election advertising."

So what is "election advertising"?  s. 319 tells us:

“election advertising” means the transmission to the public by any means during an election period of an advertising message that promotes or opposes a registered party or the election of a candidate, including one that takes a position on an issue with which a registered party or candidate is associated. For greater certainty, it does not include

(a) the transmission to the public of an editorial, a debate, a speech, an interview, a column, a letter, a commentary or news;"

Well. That was fun.  If only Williams had actually read the Elections Act instead of condemning Harper's perfectly legal actions.