Canadian campaign ad

I am listening to the Blue Jays’ audio feed of their playoff game against the Rangers. I am doing so for two reasons: (1) I am attempting to work and have no TV in my office; and (2) MLB has a lousy video-streaming policy for its postseason games. This game is not available to MLB.TV subscribers unless they are outside the US and Canada. (Thanks, MLB, for your not-safe-for-21st-century live-video policy.)

I just heard a campaign ad. The announcer points out that for years, Canadian voters have voted Conservative when tired of Liberals, and Liberal when tired of Conservatives. He then says, this year, “vote for change”, but unless I missed it (I am, after all, attempting to work), no party other than Liberal and Conservative was mentioned. At the end it was indicated that the message was paid by one of the unions (specifically indicated, but I do not recall).

It was pretty clearly a pro-NDP ad, and I assume they can’t mention the party they want you to vote for due to some provisions of Canadian law. Can anyone enlighten me on campaign law?

7 thoughts on “Canadian campaign ad

  1. That’s odd – I’ve never heard an ad where the party omitted to mention themselves, and the relevant provision of the Canada Elections Act *requires* them to mention who paid for the ad.

    “A candidate or registered party, or a person acting on their behalf, who causes election advertising to be conducted shall mention in or on the message that its transmission was authorized by the official agent of the candidate or by the registered agent of the party, as the case may be.”

    It could have conceivable been a union ad (third parties have the power to spend in election periods, subject to very strict limits), but they’re required to mention who paid for the ad as well.

  2. The Fair Elections Act 2014 strictly limits what third parties, including unions, can do between issue of the writ and election day. The fairness of the act is not a matter of universal agreement.

    • This is not new to the Fair Elections Act 2014. By not mentioning the party, the party agent approval is not needed, and the spending does not count towards the party. This has been true since at least Chretien’s electoral reform approx 15 years ago.

  3. According to the Canadian blogs and media I read, the NDP is completely blowing the election and tanking to some disastrous finish. However, I have been following Canadian politics for some time, and pretty much every election the Canadian blogs and media say the NDP is tanking and headed for some disastrous finish.

    However, the Conservative government, which got a majority and 40% of the vote last time, called the election at a time of their choosing, had more funds than the other parties, set a super long campaign season where their funding would be used for maximum advantage, did a redistribution that created alot of new ridings that the Conservatives would probably win (granted this was needed on one man one vote reasons), are taking advantage on one of those strange emotional issues that always seem to come out of nowhere and drive more voters to vote for right-wing parties, face an evenly split opposition, are the only party in Canda backing a new “trade” agreement that elites really, really, are desperate to get passed, and otherwise are the incumbent party and have not done that much in the last nine years to get voters mad enough to evict them. And they are pulling ahead in the polls and Canadian GDP is increasing. So I think they will get another majority.

    • No offense but most of this is incorrect.

      Elections have dates fixed in legislation so it was not “a time of the Tories choosing”, the redistribution is not done by the parties but rather by an independent non-partisan commission of experts and so has not created a lot of new Tory ridings, the niqab issue seems to be backfiring for the Tories instead of helping them (except for in Quebec), they are not the only party backing TPP (the other parties merely promised to review it once the details were public), and finally, the current polls have the Liberals with a healthy lead and projected to win the most seats, setting aside for a moment that the Liberals can win even without winning the most seats, whereas the Tories can’t, given that the possibility of a Lib/NDP accord exists in a situation where the two have a majority together.

    • A majority was always a long shot, when you look at the favourables over the last 12 months. And I disagree that they have not done much in the last nine years to get voters mad enough to evict them. No single act, sure. But by sheer erosion, they have ticked off nearly everyone, including many long time supporters. They have brought back some in this campaign, but not many, and not nearly enough.

      Also, this gov’t has done more to cut the size of gov’t (after inflation and pop growth) than any other in history. That is enough to usually near-destroy a party, and it speaks to the Tories’ skill (largely through obfuscation) that it has not done so. Consider that this was done during a slow-growth post-credit-crisis, and it’s no mystery (contrast with gangbuster US growth during short-lived Liberal-era austerity of the mid 90s).

      I take exception at this though: “did a redistribution that created alot of new ridings that the Conservatives would probably win (granted this was needed on one man one vote reasons)”

      Based on averaging historical data they are less likely to win the new seats than the average seat outside of Quebec. So the distribution didn’t (and won’t) help them, over the long run. In this particular campaign, they are poised to be worse off for redistribution, although I’m sure they didn’t plan it that way.

      I agree that it was needed for rep-by-pop reasons, and it is one of the better endeavors of this Tory regime. Although it could have been even more aggressive on that front.

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