Tim Hudak shirks ideology for expediency

From today’s Toronto Star,

Opposition parties are backing a push from Ontario’s chief electoral officer for limits on advertising by interest groups such as the anti-Tory Working Families coalition of unions.
Noting that such “third-party” advertising tripled to $6.7 million between the 2007 and 2011 provincial elections, Greg Essensa said in his annual report that the legislature needs to set up an independent body to study a cap on spending and contributions, among other things.
“We would like to see stronger parameters around third party advertising,” Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod said Monday, echoing calls from party leader Tim Hudak last year.

The Ontario PCs should not be looking at reining in free speech just because they are losing the free speech fight. To be sure, unions need better disclosure of how they are spending worker dues especially if those dues are going to political causes. Unions should also be made to allow a mechanism to allow members to opt out of their dues should this money be going towards causes any particular member does not support.

The National Citizens Coalition raises money given voluntarily by thousands of Ontarians to advocate on their issues. If political parties are the only ones given the right of free and unfettered speech during elections, this makes our society less democratic.

Do not abandon your principles, Mr. Hudak. We need more ideas during elections, not fewer.



  • Thucydides_of_Athens

    The main issue here is that the Union front groups can spend far more than political parties, which have strict limits on what they can spend (as well as their supporters, who have strict limits to what they can contribute).

    If we just go for a level playing field, for example that the portion of union dues for political purposes be exposed and members be allowed to opt out, or that front groups have the same spending caps that political parties have, then we should be satisfied.

  • Frank the Tank

    Hudak thinks he’s Stephen Harper. Screw fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. They hate liberals anyway.

  • Cytotoxic

    Hudak has no principles ideas. None of his own at least. This is what you deserve for supporting him at all.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca/ Stephen Taylor

    Remove the caps for political parties then. Why not open the playing field (ie. freedom) rather than “leveling” the playing field (aka censorship)?

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca/ Stephen Taylor

    Will I be the first up against the wall during your glorious socialist revolution?

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca/ Stephen Taylor

    I’m finding it difficult to decode this message. Who is Tim Hudak is Stephen Harper is a what now?

  • Thucydides_of_Athens

    I agree in principle that there should be no caps, but the reality is that most of the voting public will not agree that unlimited spending is a good thing. Far better to get what you can rather than over reach and get nothing at all.

    Once a level playing field is established, then you can move towards greater openness (freedom).

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca/ Stephen Taylor

    No, free speech is when the government doesn’t arrest you for your opinion. This is my private property and I get to set the rules here. Do you respect property rights?

  • Phatman

    Are there really people that would vote for this guy anyway? I mean come on, he proposes no solutions, just plain conservative rhetoric. He’s too far right for ON! Maybe it’s time for the PCPO to reinvent themselves? With Wynne at the helm, public support for the Libs are rising (kudos to them). At least one of the three political parties are doing something right. Yes there’s the Ornge and e-health scandals, but will Ontarians forget these issues if they head to the polls? Worked for Harper in the last election. Rememebr the contempt of Parliament issue? I think Hudak is too far right, he is out of touch with ON voters, he is Mike Harris in disguise and Ontarians are just not ready for another Mike Harris.

  • joannetb

    “Unions should also be made to allow a mechanism to allow members to opt out of their dues should this money be going towards causes any particular member does not support.”

    I agree with that, but what is the process required to make that happen? If a bill has to be passed in the Legislature I doubt the NDP and Liberals would dare to antagonize the unions on that issue.

    So if we end up back at square one then we still need to level the playing field somehow.

  • joannetb

    I must remember that one. ;)

  • rasa masa

    Ontario Conservatives would have a majority now if it wasn’t for Tim Hudak. Voters just don’t like the guy, he should have resigned. With the way things are now, we may end up in the same place next time around.

  • kenn2

    The Conservative Election Machine can get anyone elected (Exhibit A – Rob Ford). So the question is why they didn’t bring their A game to the Ontario provincial elections? What they didn’t tell Tim is that the electability of Federal Conservatives in Ontario depends on having a Liberal boogey-person running the province. Tim gets to take one for the team.