The first, is the apparent influence of American-interest groups in our election. The most prominent of the influence sprayed everywhere is the National Rifle Association [Canoe, McLellan to NRA: Stay clear of Canadian election]:
McLellan was troubled that the NRA, which views gun ownership as a constitutional right, was "working with Conservative candidates" with the goal of influencing electoral outcomes.It is illegal for foreign companies, associations, and unions to contribute to candidates in Canadian elections (unless they do business in Canada or in the case of a union, does bargaining rights on behalf of Canadian employees), if I'm reading the section correctly in the Elections Act. So, if the NRA are attempting direct influence on the election by contributing to campaigns, then Mr. Cotler just need drop the hammer. That's obviously not occurring. Correct me if I'm wrong.
But Conservative justice critic Vic Toews called it "absolute fabrication" to suggest the NRA is working with the Conservatives. The Tories have strong policies on cracking down on criminal use of firearms and don't agree with the NRA on fundamental philosophies, he said.
Can a Canadian citizen be swayed by one of these organizations and then contribute to candidates that follow the NRA way? Sure. Is that a controversy? Not really. If I'm interested in promoting a gun agenda, I don't think I need the NRA to sway my position to be more gun-oriented.
All that said, it does bother me. I think the NRA has no business up here attempting to influence anyone. And, that's in general for any foreign-based organization or individual.
Tags: canada, conservative party, nra, politics