Now I can see how Williams could get worked up about this, but it has been close to two years. Is this confrontational blowhard attitude really still required? I mean whose this going to hurt in the end? Why the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that's who.
Now the CTV is reporting that Williams will make good on his threat to campaign against Harper in the upcoming elections. Oh, I forgot to mention, this includes Ontario!
I am not a lawyer and don't pretend to be but would this not define Williams as a "third party advertiser" according to the Elections Canada Act?
The Canada Elections Act regulates third parties who engage in election advertising. A third party may be a person or a group. The Act defines a group as an unincorporated trade union, trade association or other group of persons acting together by mutual consent for a common purpose. A corporation may also be a third party.
Candidates, federal registered political parties and the electoral district associations of registered political parties are not third parties.
What is "election advertising"?
"Election advertising" is defined in section 319 of the Canada Elections Act. "Election advertising" may be interpreted as a message that is:
- transmitted by any means during an election
- transmitted to any person or persons with whom the originator of the message does not have some common cause or connection, and
- intended to influence how an elector might vote, by promoting or opposing a registered party or the election of a candidate, including a message that takes a position on an issue with which a registered party or candidate is associated
- Does this mean Williams will need to register as a third party advertiser? Even if he doesn't expressly take out media in his fight against Harper he will still get free air time courtesy of the networks.
- Would his expenses count towards the limit on third party advertisers? Or would he be counted as a pundit? Like those "strategists" that appear on shows.
- Would he ride on the campaign bus/plane?
- What would the pundits say if a gun lobbyist was out campaigning with a Conservative candidate? Or for that matter a pro-choice advocate campaigning with a Liberal or NDP candidate?