Liberte, Egalite, Argent: Third Party Election Spending and the Charter


  • Andrew Geddis



Both the federal government and the courts have brought about changes in election law. The author reviews these recent changes In the legal landscape that surround election rules, in particular third party election spending. The questions of what rules exist" and "who shall make them" are particularly important to the discussion as this area of law tries to reconcile individual interests in liberty and equality in a democracy. The trio of Supreme Court of Canada decisions. Libman v. Quebec (A.G.), Thomson Newspapers v. Canada (A.G.) and Sauvi v. Canada (Chief Electoral Officer), reveal ambiguity in the Court's rationale for limiting individual liberty at election time. This ambiguity is broached in the recent Supreme Court of Canada case of Harper v. Canada (A.G.) where the Court accepted that Parliament may legitimately seek to create a "level playing field" at election time.