Media finally starting to dig into Avaaz’s 3rd Party election spending

Kevin Libin of the National Post does a very nice expose on the political activities of Avaaz in Canada here.

Libin lays out that Avaaz is either a foreign entity illegally interfering in Canadian politics or an unregistered lobbyist breaking laws.

Check out Avaaz’s 3rd Party Election Advertising Report here that only lists 25 Canadian donours adding up to $9,931.80 and then compare it to the advertising spent during that election. For example, the Chronicle Herald alone received $10,083.34 for ads.

Who were these missing donours and why didn’t Elections Canada bother asking?

Also: Keep in mind that Kady O’Malley had this information and did nothing with it except mock the Conservatives here

19 Responses to “Media finally starting to dig into Avaaz’s 3rd Party election spending”

  1. Issachar Says:

    This is why election advertising laws don’t work in the modern age. Exactly how would Canada stop Avaaz from commenting on Canadian elections? Censor the internet? That’s unworkable and more than a little repressive.

    • BC Blue Says:

      You obviously didn’t read their spending report.

      • Issachar Says:

        No I didn’t. Is it relevant? I don’t see how it could be. Media is global. Short of becoming a repressive state like China I don’t see how blocking foreign media advertising could possibly be practical if they simply ignored Canadian law.

        Even assuming that those kind of free speech restrictions are a good idea, do you think it’s practical?

        • BC Blue Says:

          It had absolutely nothing to do with the internet ads. Elections Canada has to be fair and equal. On one hand they go after the NCC but look the other way on Avaaz.

      • Issachar Says:

        So it wasn’t internet ads. So what? Media is still global.

        Do you think our election gag laws are actually practical or do you think they’re great at targeting some groups, (say for example, the Conservative party and it’s Canadian donors) and fairly useless at targeting other groups?

  2. Rich Says:

    Question: Why has election Canada not investigated this, and why was this not brought up in the Parliamentary Ethics Committee? Could it be more Liberal bias?
    Sent an email to CTV bureau chief article from Kevin Libin, anxious to see if there is any follow up investigation and report. Wont hold my breath.

    Articles like this makes me more certain that we need to re-elect Prime Minister Harper and the Conservatives with the largest majority government in Canadian history. Enough of the social engineering and turning Canada into Banana Republic North.

    • BC Blue Says:

      Same reason that they went nuts sleuthing on the “in-and-out” and didn’t do a darn thing on the Liberal leader loans

      • Je Says:

        So they consider the PMSH ‘the worst PM in the world’
        I guess, Hugo Chavez, the Iran president, North Korean president, Mugabe and other dictators are the best in the world.

        You know what’s sad, is how the national media can think the same as AVAAZ re to the PM -not stand by him with him for the love of our country.

        • jean-guy lechecul Says:

          >not stand by him with him for the love of our country.

          You would have made a good goose stepper…. its for the love of the country.

          A true patriot is a whistle blower not a yesman.

          You should be embarassed.

  3. byng Says:

    positively frightening that this is going on, without the biased media honchos even blinking – a Harper majority becomes essential, to regain control of our own country

    • Jen Says:

      I BLAME THE MEDIA 100%, they have walked right into a trap that can be their downfall in the eyes of the public for lying manipulating and putting our country in grave danger which they have freely done so already.
      Media are the CBC, CTV and others that have turned their backs on ‘true’ broadcasting so that they can hover ‘fear over you til you relent to their way of thinking. A proceedure daily seen and done by other dictated countries.
      These canadian medias will pay the price for what they are doing. They have shown where their loyalties lie and that is not for CANADA, PM, CANADIANS AND TROOPS.

  4. Rose Says:

    For Christmas sake this isn’t a free speech issue, the rabbid leftards can gather enmasse on the net and plot their little petitions until they grey matter shrivels up like their faces. However a foreign leftwing activists group were allowed to alledgedly fund and advocate during an election in Canada and frankly the thought horrifies me for gawds sake we aren’t Iran. It should be illegal for foreign special interest groups to interfer with Canadian elections, and I”ve already sent a blistering Email to Elections Canada. They went after the Conservatives for over funding ads but apparently they didn’t investigate this organization and I want to know why?

    • Issachar Says:

      I asked BCBlue this question, but I’d like to know what you think too.

      > It should be illegal for foreign special interest groups to interfer with Canadian elections

      Exactly how would you enforce this in the age of global media without turning us into some kind of repressing authoritarian state like China which tries to control the information citizens can access? Media is global these days. Governments can control old media, but exactly how can they control new media?

  5. RayK Says:

    “Avaaz’s PUBLIC Elections Canada report lists just 25 sources giving $9,931 in funds, of the more than $155,000 Avaaz reports to have raised for that election from more than 4,000 donors.”

    Has it occured to you that Elections Canada either (a) doesn’t require that third party spending groups report the identities of smaller contributors or (b) those identities aren’t published in the publicly available report?

    “[Avaaz] has lately been lobbying the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s chairman to influence his decisions. It has lobbied the Conservative government on climate policy (it is behind those “fossil of the day” awards regularly handed out to Canada at climate summits) and organized rallies and petitions to convince the Governor General to bless the coalition of opposition forces attempting to unseat the Tories in 2008.”

    “All this even though Avaaz is not listed in Canada’s lobbyist registry.”

    The Lobbying Act only requires organizations to register if their total time spent on duties related to lobbying is the equivalent of at least 20% of a regular employee’s paid-time.

    Moreover, lobbying only includes communicating with Canadian public office holders or directly encouraging others to communicate with pbulic office holders. While people may colloquially refer to petitions, advertising and television interviews as “lobbying”, they count legally unless their primary purpose is to get people to contact their MP etc.–and even then the 20% rule kicks in.

    • BC Blue Says:

      “Third parties must observe the spending limits for election advertising: they may spend up to $3,000* per riding, and up to $150,000* in total during a general election (these amounts are adjusted for inflation). Registered third parties must also submit financial reports showing contributions and advertising expenses to the Chief Electoral Officer.”

      Besides…why is a US based organization doing trying to influence Canadian elections?

  6. Rose Says:

    I’m not trying to control anything on the net, I’m talking about the rabid left using the internet to meddle in our domestic affairs and I think that should be illegal. It’s one thing to partake of online petition it’s another to use a global membership to alter a democratic election via allegedly funding ads for Liberals that in it’s self is something we cannot tolerate in this nation. If that money isn’t raised in Canada I want something done about it, and second if there is no sister organization in Canada they should not be allowed to act in this nation as lobbyest. There’s a vast difference between being a legal lobbyest and a global leftwing internet leftwing activists. One is legit the other is fringe and belongs on the fringe.

    • Issachar Says:

      Threaded comments… Do they not show up in some browsers?

      > using the internet to meddle in our domestic affairs and I think that should be illegal.

      But you *can’t* make it illegal for foreign media to interfere in Canadian elections. Well, that’s not quite true. You *can* do it, but the law will be about as effective as making it illegal to break wind or gossip over the back fence. We don’t have the capacity in a free country like Canada to enforce such laws.

  7. real conservative Says:

    I know what is going on… this stink all leads to the Wizard of Oz himself, Soros. Better to cut it off at the knees then cut his throat. Figuratively speaking of course, cause I’m not into having a billionaire sue anybody around here.

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