Bloggers should have to register as lobbyists!
No, they shouldn't. And it sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it? Yet it's not that big a stretch, using the logic the Senate must have to think that the National Citizens' Coalition should have to register as lobbyists for conducting the same business they always have - informing the public and expressing opinions on the policy the government should be putting in place.
I first caught wind of this from Gerry Nicholls, who links to a copy of the original Hill Times article on the subject on his blog.
For those of you who don't know what the NCC does, the group basically spends its (privately donated) money fighting for "more freedom through less government" by (shock!) blogging, writing op-eds for newspapers, doing interviews, sending out newsletters and taking out ads.
The NCC doesn't directly persuade the government or influence its opinion on policy any more than Andrew Coyne, Ezra Levant, or, hell, Garth Turner do when they write or say something that brings a topic into the public's focus and compels people to ask questions about how things are being done.
Forcing someone to go through the process of registering as a lobbyist for distributing information about a political issue, specifically information that contradicts the status quo, (and, by extention, not allowing former government employees to express an opinion about political issues in any meaningful way for years after the conclusion of their employment) is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
The idea of putting up road blocks to the free dissemination of information (that's free speech, folks) is downright offensive to me, and I hope it is to you, too.
If you love freedom, and/or you think the senate is full of crap on this one, you can support the NCC and send a great big "screw you!" to the senate by joining the NCC, like I did a few years ago.