The political trends towards gag laws in Canada are getting serious as more jurisdictions are getting into the action.
The Globe and Mail editorial today of B.S.(not a typo) Premier Campbell “change of heart” on the issue is worth a read.
Then visit Preston Manning’s Op-Ed on the NDP government getting into the limits on free speech bandwagon.
These are political efforts that are missing the point and trying to make their own “communications” job easier by monopolizing the messaging market. We need good governance and that relies on a diversity of opinions promulgated in a variety of ways to anyone who wants to participate in the deomcratic process.
If these old-school stlye of communications constraints survive and become government policy in Alberta, B.C. and Manitoba the Internet will become even more powerful as a source for political and policy information for people. That is not a bad thing. It will show these promoters of political limits on free speech just how wrong they are when the blogosphere and Web 2.0 takes them on and deals with them in the court of public opinion.
The challenge for modern political parties is not to put limits on the free speech of others but to do a better job of communicating their own policies and platforms to citizens in the first place. The opportnities for politicians to connect and communicate with citizens directly has never been easier or cheaper with the ubiquity and accessibility of the Internet.
Get in the new game guys and compete for attention and for credibility of voters in the open market of ideas instead of using your legislative power to rig the rules of the old game in your favour and stifling the free speech of others in the process.