There are quite a few things in the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation which are worth complaining about, because CASL reduces competitiveness of Canadian businesses. But today, I would like to write a few thoughts on the technical design of CASL and in particular on the exemptions of its general prohibition of commercial emails. There are mainly two main exemptions for organisations that do not need a consent of the recipient to send mass emails:
– charity organisations, and
– political parties, candidates etc.
Charity organisation are allowed to spam
At a glance many of you might say: Well, there should be support for charities. And you are right.
But why on earth should charities be allowed to send spam emails? If the government considers any unsolicited commercial emails as spam (I do not share this opinion!), than it does not matter who the sender is. Why should you declare a certain measure of direct marketing as illegal for most organizations and grant it only to a few exemptions? I always thought we would live in a market economy. I think this is a perfect example for another regulatory overkill which fosters inequalities.
Furthermore, we also should spend one or two thoughts on where the money for the charities comes from. In the end it comes from the Canadian businesses which are basically the backbone of the Canadian economy. They make charity organisations possible: by paying taxes, by directly donating or indirectly by its employees, who take money they earned and donate it to charities.
That is why, I really cannot find any rationale behind limiting marketing measures of businesses in comparison to charities.
CASL exemption of political parties etc.
The exemption from anti-spam measures, which is really outrageous, is the exemption of political organisations and candidates.
First, there fit of course the same arguments like for the charities: If I want to avoid unsolicited emails because they are spam, than it does not matter if they are from a business, a charity or a political candidate. And what could be the justification to give political parties an advantage in marketing measures to normal taxpayers? I cannot think of any.
But in this case, we also have an even much more perfidious issue: The political rulers obviously misuse their powers to create an competitive advantage for themselves (which goes on the expense of its voters). That, what is forbidden to the voter, is just fine enough for the political elite.
As I was born and grown up in Eastern Germany before the wall came down, this really reminds me of communist politics: The political elite takes measures to secure their powers and to exempt themselves from regulations they do not like.
And if you look a bit further ahead what kind of political campaigns will occur in 2014 and be the profiteers of this regulation – just think of the honorable Rob Ford, who wants to be re-elected – than you really should ask yourself: Am I living really in North America or in a banana republic?
If you consider this – at least to me this looks like a pure rip off of business owners.
Controversial comments are welcome!