An Open Letter to Kasra Nejatian

Dear Kesra Nejatian,

I would like to congratulate you on your success at obtaining media coverage for your cause by campaigning to have Michael Moore charged under section 331 of the Canada Elections Act for attempting to influence the Canadian election. I'm pretty sure far fewer Canadians would ever have had a chance to hear of you without it.

I also believe you have done Canadians a considerable service: you have highlighted a patently stupid section of an otherwise effective piece of Canadian legal code. That one could even think of jailing Michael Moore for expressing an opinion about Canadian politics during an election campaign is a dangerous precident. How many Canadians have opinions on American politics? How would we feel if Americans tried to have Michael Myers jailed for criticizing George W. Bush? What about the Canadians participating in the blog the Blogging of the President?

Clearly Section 331 of the Canada Elections Act needs to be deleted. In a democracy, no individual should have any more or less ability to express his or her opinions and, unless Michael Moore violated campaign finance laws with his off-the-cuff statements, this frivolous complaint should not be given any weight.

I would be most interested in learning the history of Section 331 of this act to see if it applied during the 1988 Canadian federal election. At that time, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher both spoke out encouraging Canadians to vote in favour of the one party supporting Free Trade (the Conservatives). If this section was in force at that time, it certainly needs to be repealed. Ronald Reagan may not have anything to fear from Canadian election officials, but I do not believe that Canada has a statute of limitations for Maggie to hide behind.

Yours sincerely,
James Bow

I'm back from Rochester. Arrived around 7 p.m. after a late start and a nice lunch in Ann Arbor. We're glad to be back and reunited with Gus!

My father-in-law is continuing to improve, sitting himself up and eating his first solid food since the surgery today (jello).

Thanks again to everybody who sent kind words or thoughts our way. The group in Rochester were all talking about the international nature of the good wishes heading Wendell's way.

Not much to write here other than the letter I composed a while ago. Spent the evening backing up some files (inspired by this guy and the fact that the :Trenchcoat Farewell Project: is nearing completion), and working through my mind a short story idea. More on that later... maybe.

Last but not least: happy birthday to my mom!

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