Feb 10 2004

Editor -
RE: Let the people speak RM archive copy By GERRY NICHOLLS Monday, February 9, 2004

Mr. Nicholls' piece would have a great deal more credibility if he was actually speaking for the democratic rights of ALL Canadians.

It's kind of an ironic twist, actually, on the old story of the harsh law which will jail the rich man as well as the beggar, should either steal a loaf of bread - obviously, the wealthy person is somewhat less likely to be jailed, having no need to be stealing food to survive.

Likewise the "gag" law concerning election spending - treating all citizens equally, the person making the average Cdn income of $50,000 per year is forbidden to spend a few million on a national advertising campaign for some candidate or party, as is the wealthy Bay St Banker-corporation. Mr. Nicholls and his NCC would have us believe they are self-righteously and vigorously defending the right of ALL of us - $50,000 employee and $50,000,000 Bay St CEO - to spend as much as we please during an election campaign, I should hardly need to go further in explicating the basic hypocricy of such a position - corporations making hundreds of millions or billions of dollars per year face no difficulty in budgeting a few hundred thousand or million to put together a solid advertising campaign, and pay for the space to run it in the media of their choice, to support the candidate promoting policies they favor during an election campaign - but NO average citizen making a 5-figure income will ever be able to do so. Thus the "fairness" argument that Mr. Nicholls et al. pretend to base their court battle on is misleading in the worst sort of way - a very political type of dissembling and spin, though! We can assume he has been well-schooled in the trade of election talk from those who back him.

Personally, I would be a great deal more impressed with Mr. Nicholls and the NCC if they promoted participation in the election campaign for ALL citizens, not just the wealthy. The wealthy, with all of their newspapers promoting their position on the editorial pages day after day, backed by the "think-tanks" they fund such as the Fraser and Howe institutes, hardly need any more nelp.

The rest of us working slobs now - it would sure be nice if there was some way WE could run a national advertising campaign during the election, or if reports from (real) think-tanks that support the common people (Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, for instance) could be given some space in their newspapers.

Any thoughts, Mr. Nicholls, on how to make the Canadian media available for political advertising for the non-wealthy?

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