The Trudeau government gets another chance to do election law reform right

Posted In: News Date:May 26th, 2018

Andrew Scheer suggested this week that Justin Trudeau is trying to "rig the next election."

It's quite a thing to say. In fact, it's just about the most serious charge one can level at a government. It apparently failed to make much of a ripple on Parliament Hill — an indication, perhaps, of how numb everyone has gotten to the effects of apocalyptic political rhetoric.

Whether Bill C-76 — the Liberal government's expansive set of changes to elections laws — amounts to fixing the 2019 election is rather debatable. But perhaps, in the interests of maintaining the public's faith in our democratic system, the Liberals might try meeting the Conservative leader halfway.

Scheer's stated fear of a "rigged" election is apparently linked to the Liberals' proposal to regulate political activity in the weeks immediately preceding a federal campaign.

In this new "pre-writ period" — to begin on June 30 in years with a fixed election date in October — parties would be permitted to spend a maximum of $1.5 million on political advertising, while third-party groups and other outside organizations would be allowed to spend up to $1 million on partisan advertising, activities and opinion surveys.