Monday, 16 October 2006

'Campaign finance reform' = speech rationing

"Campaign finance reform" is being put on the table by a Labour Party that's so short of the readies they want to take your money by force to pay for their next election campaign, while stopping you giving your money voluntarily in large amounts to fund campaigns that you might wish to.

That's as basically venal as this proposal is. Caught with their hands in the till, they want to change the law to leave the till open. Too few people want to support them financially, so they want to force you to pay for their election campaigns instead. Too many people criticise the Government during the election campaign, so they want to forbid third-party criticisms of Government during an election campaign.

Taken together, these are what Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author George H. Will describes in the American context as "speech rationing," of which he said recently "there is no greater threat to liberty."
It is commonly called "campaign finance reform," but it's nothing of the sort. It is simply the assertion by the government of a new, audacious 'right': the right to determine the timing, content, and amount of political advocacy about the government. It is the most astonishing slow-motion repeal of the First Amendment [protecting free speech that] anyone could imagine.
This is as dangerous as an attack on free speech gets. Make no mistake, "campaign finance reform" is just a euphemism for speech rationing. It should be fought by everyone who values free speech with everything they can bring to bear against it.

LINKS: Upholding the idea of liberty - speech by George H. Will to 2006 Milton Friedman dinner, Cato Institute [8-page PDF]

RELATED: Politics-NZ, Politics-Labour, Darnton V Clark


  1. Oh I will be fighting this big time. Free speech is a fundamental human right. As they said on Penn and Teller's Bullshit! no one has the right to tell us what we can and can't say and even the heinous of people have the right to free speech. We simply have the right not to listen, not to tell them they can't say it.

    As soon as I can figure out a way to drive people to my blog (so far I have had little success) this will be one of the many pieces of political crap from Labour I will be fighting. And I am confident that in the next two years they will give me far more stuff to use as articles for my blog, your blog, Darnton VS Clark, and many others to cover.

  2. Not to be picky but you have a bit that says: "Too few peoplThey want to force you". You may want to fix that. I am just trying to help by pointing out a mistake you may of missed.

  3. Thanks for the much-needed correction, Anonymous.

    Kane, good to hear you're another who's against this attack on free speech. You might want to add your blog's adddress to your comments -- that will help to let people know about your blog. :-)


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