NDP scandal: New Democrat Party forced to return $344,000 of illegal donations

Political map of Canada
Political map of Canada

Ezra Levant writing on Brian Lilley’s Lilley Pad blog.

Excerpt:

The largest case of illegal elections financing in Canadian history was revealed this week — $344,000 illegally funnelled to the NDP by big Canadian labour unions.

In Canada it is against the law for corporations or unions to give any money to political parties. Only individuals are allowed to, and that amount is capped at about $1,100 a person.

But the NDP set up a scheme to dodge the law. They sold extremely expensive “sponsorships” at their big convention to labour unions, $344,000 worth.

[…]Here’s the thing, it’s all illegal. You can be fined $5,000 or even sentenced to five years in jail. But that didn’t happen. Elections Canada didn’t prosecute under the law. It didn’t take the NDP or the unions to court. It didn’t demand penalties or convictions. It just let the NDP and the unions go —­ a freebie.

And the media? Crickets. Where are the calls for prosecution —­ not just of the NDP, but of the unions? Where are the screaming headlines, the in-depth mini-documentaries, the front-page stories? The biggest case of election financing fraud in Canadian history —­ and not a single front page?

I think that if the Republicans ever get into power down here again, the first thing they should do is ban all campaign contributions by large corporations and unions. Large corporations and most unions give almost exclusively to the political left. We should shut them down here.

7 thoughts on “NDP scandal: New Democrat Party forced to return $344,000 of illegal donations”

  1. “I think that if the Republicans ever get into power down here again, the first thing they should do is ban all campaign contributions by corporations and unions.”

    Ah, but remember, “freedom of speech and all that”:
    https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/google-starts-wordlwide-campaign-to-legalize-gay-marriage-target-donates-to-gay-rights-groups/#comment-51710

    “Large corporations and most unions give almost exclusively to the political left.”

    Is that true? I haven’t looked at any of that directly, but judging solely by how upset liberals were (are) about the Citizens United Supreme Court decision—President Obama went so far as to insult the Supreme Court in his State of the Union speech over it—I was assuming that, practically speaking, it worked out in conservatives’ favor.

    So I’m in favor of freedom of expression (including the freedom to fund it) on principle, even if it works against us in this particular case, but I really am curious: Does it work against us in this?

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      1. I’m not sure if we are talking past each other. My view is that individuals who work for corporations and unions can make political contributions, but not big corporations or unions, and that all contributions over a certain amount (say $10,000) must be public.

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        1. But you’re still for small corporations being allowed to donate? Why not ban all donations from anything that is not a living, breathing human being?

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      2. Right, and I guess I suspect that that position is untenable (if you otherwise agree with the First Amendment), maybe in a few ways. For example, if the government can tell the corporations that they can’t directly make campaign contributions, can it also ban them from simply producing and airing political ads themselves?

        Or maybe a way to help us not talk past each other would be to put it like this: The First Amendment protects our freedom of speech. To be effective, it must at the same time protect our freedom to fund that speech.

        It’s possible that you are thinking of the First Amendment as a protection of individual rights, but I think it might be better to think of it as a limitation on government power—it says not “individuals, as long as they act in their private capacity and not jointly as part of a corporation, shall have the right to speak” but rather “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . .” In other words, don’t look at who the speaker in question is; look at whether the government is restricting speech. I think such laws clearly are restricting speech, and are bad policy for the same reasons that our founders originally put the First Amendment in there.

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