Canada's election watchdog: ads saying climate change is real may break law

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/20/canadas-election-watchdog-a.html

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Canada: demonstrating the adage about good intentions and the roads to hell.

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We are in The End Times.

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It’s probably too late to register the Flat Earth Party, to block anyone from talking about global issues? /s

It’s not really “breaking the law”, just if it costs more than $500, it’ll count as partisan 3rd party election spending.

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Under the Harper regime, the CRA audited the crap out of environmental charities because they were given guidance that environmental activism was political. I’m sure the conservative party were surprised to discover that merging with far right parried form the oil producing bits of Canada brought all the deniers into the fold.

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Strangely, all of Harper’s right-wing “charity” buds never got slapped down.

eta: Is there some Harper appointee still in place at Elections Canada? (Because that’s the sort of shit-weasel he is.)

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Can I register a party that hasas its main issue a ban on all Disney movies, thereby making advertisements for those banned?

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So, if some candidate states they’re atheists, all advertising for churches becomes illegal?

Or if one candidate denies something like Copyright (I’m looking at you, Pirate party), all dvd’s must skip the copyright notices?

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It sounds like a shitty decision on the face of it – and obviously I hope the candidate who says climate change is a hoax will lose – but the electionfolk may well be right in principle, and the principle in question is not just theoretical.

If third parties are running “climate change is real” ads because a climate denier is running for election, then of course that’s political advertising. If the law is anything like the UK’s, then those groups are free to run ads outside a relatively short window, so it’s not that they’re being censored from communicating this point to the public.

And, nine times out of ten, when someone uses the “I’m just coincidentally stating an objective fact” defence, they’re defending something a lot shittier than believing in climate change. Like, I remember there was a protracted debate some years back when London’s former police chief said something like “90% of muggings are done by black kids”; the facts weren’t in dispute, but his choice to say it, in isolation, was widely and correctly seen as racist af. I’d be pretty pissed off if he were allowed to say that during an election, when other political communication was banned.

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How about the Asexual Party that believes that there is only one sex?

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Ooh, this sounds like an excellent opportunity for a spot of culture jamming. How about running on a platform of “Carlsberg is probably not the best lager in the world”, for example? Or “CARPROOF don’t, in fact, have you covered”?

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Someone could run on a “Carbonated drinks make your ear fall off” platform, and then no Coca-Cola ads for half a year. Is that how it works?

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Maybe if someone runs on a platform of empirical research and the scientific method the Conservative Party will be prevented from advertising entirely. Get on it, Liberals!

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I mean, wouldn’t it just be wise to have a period of time running up to the elections where there’s just…no advertising allowed at all? Just have publicly sponsored long-form interviews and issue-specific debates for that window of time. Job done.

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No - but you can run on believing that Disney isn’t real - thus making any ad that says otherwise illegal.

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So can i run on a platform that climate deniers are idiots and saying otherwise is illegal? :smiley:

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So if my brand new life is a dream party gets started any mention of any real world event, product, news, fact, political party etc becomes illegal. Reality is a just a partisan point of view after all.

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A law like this in the U.S. wouldn’t last more than a month as the trolls would race to see who pushed it to the breaking point.

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News like this actually reminds me that “moving to Canada because it’s better” will likely remain an idea. An orderly, polite, sensible piece of shit is still a piece of shit.