Friday, May 13, 2005

National Citizens Coalition Says Elections BC is Trying to Censor Political Speech on the Internet

“Elections BC officials want bloggers who post `partisan’ message on their sites during the provincial election to register as advertising sponsors,” says NCC vice president Gerry Nicholls. “That’s a ridiculous infringement on free speech. Why should anyone be forced to register with the government just to express a political opinion?”

Nicholls says government bureaucrats are trying to control the free flow of information over the Internet.

“What’s next? Will Elections BC require newspaper columnists and talk show hosts to register with the government too?” asks the National Citizens Coalition vice president. “How do these bureaucratic barriers to free speech help the democratic process?”

Nicholls also points out the registration regulations are the remnants of an election gag law which the courts declared unconstitutional five years ago.

“The registration requirement was supposed to help the government police an election gag law that limited how much money private citizens or independent groups could spend on election advertising,” says Nicholls. “That law was overturned so why keep the registration regulation?”

The National Citizens Coalition helped to overturn the B.C. election gag law in 2000 and has also battled federal election gag laws.


At 10:19 a.m., Blogger Shane said...

That is the whole point. The gag law was to prevent citizen's groups from speaking out during an election - the limit was how much money they could spend. If they never spent any money then presumably the government couldn't limit them.

Blogs are free. They have no value, therefore the law cannot affect them.

But the whole thing is crap. It is blatant stifling if the voice of the people what the feds have been up to with the last election or two.


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