Close Fixed-date Election loopholes: Set Campaign Period and Advertising Limits

The fixed-date election is a great idea.  Governments can no longer dodge upcoming scandals and diving economies by calling unnecessary early elections.  However, as the 2015 election proves, there is room for improvement.

1)  Why have an election that is almost twice as long as it needs to be?  The minimum campaign period is 37 days.  We can stretch it out to between 37-44 days, say (1 week window) for dropping the writ and save all the jockeying.

2)  Fixed-date elections also tend to lead to endless campaigning, regardless of the actual campaign period.  Parties have a spending limit, but it currently only applies from the date the writ is dropped, so if you can afford it, you can drop millions on the day before and it doesn't count.  This just doesn't make sense.  Campaign spending limits should be set based on the 37 day campaign period by Elections Canada, but partisan advertising up to 6 months or so prior should count toward this limit.  That way, if you want to launch pre-emptive attacks on your opponents 6 months out from the election, knock yourselves out, but when the writ is finally dropped and people actually start paying attention, the guys who kept their powder dry get to outspend you when it counts.

3)  Government advertising should also come under Elections Canada up to 6 months ahead of the writ drop.  After all, everybody will know when it drops, right?

4)  Outside partisans should also have their advertising limited in a similar way to prevent PACs from turning elections into a spending arms race.


5) It occurred to me after my original post that we could further discourage premature "elec-ulators" ("Election" + "Elocution" = "Eleculation"???) by counting pre-writ advertising at a higher rate (say $2 for every $1 spent) toward a party or candidate's spending limits.

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