Thursday, March 24, 2011

On unintended consequences

I've already posted some thoughts on Dennis Dawson's discussed by Susan Delacourt. But it's well worth noting some of the potential downside to counting a party's non-election advertising against an election cap.

After all, during an election period, the party spending cap is accompanied by strict limits on third-party advertising. Which means that there's a balance drawn between parties and outside forces, as well as between the parties themselves.

But the rest of the time, any third party can choose to spend money attacking a political party without any restrictions. And won't anybody looking influence the political scene have a strong incentive to do exactly that when the party can't respond without limiting its own ability to participate in a future election campaign?

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