George F. Will writes and EXCELLENT column in the Washington Post and published today in the National Post.
He clearly lays out why the Supreme Court of the United States was correct in it’s decision to overturn the ban on independent expenditures during elections. He puts it most clearly here:
The Federal Election Commission, which administers the law that rations the quantity and regulates the content and timing of political speech, identifies 33 types of political speech and 71 kinds of “speakers.” The underlying statute and FEC regulations cover more than 800 pages, and FEC explanations of its decisions have filled more than 1,200 pages. The First Amendment requires 10 words for a sufficient stipulation: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.”
The politicians and bureaucracy in America have been corrupted by power and need to go back and read their own Constitution and the writings of those who laid the foundation or wrote it, like Paine and Jefferson.
Canada can learn from this too… How many times have courts in Canada struck down similar regulations here only to have politicians reimpose them? Too many. And our current federal political financing system is corrupt too – giving entrenched political parties public monies removes them from having to raise funds themselves or be accountable to anyone. And preventing third parties from advertising during elections protects the parties.
I am amazed how many people don’t understand the fundamental reason Jean Chretien changed the campaign finance rules – under the new rules, it is much more difficult (if not impossible) for a new party (a la Reform) to start from scratch again. If you don’t already have seats in the House and already get a significant portion of the popular vote, a party is beggared by the system. He was protecting the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP from new competition – because he knew that even the Conservatives would be corrupted by power and become mushy-middle, big government hacks just like himself…