The Canadian debate on foreign election meddling has focused almost exclusively on China. Some also want to investigate the interventions of other foreign governments. The foreign meddling debate in the United States is broader and encompasses powerful non-state actors, including foreign-influenced corporations.
The U.S. debate is instructive and may help Canadians decide how broad the focus of a public inquiry should be if Parliament decides on one.
The call to go beyond enforcing bans on direct foreign government interference is being increasingly made in the U.S., where momentum is growing to prohibit indirect election meddling by domestic corporations appreciably owned by foreign investors. These foreign investors may be a sovereign wealth fund controlled by the Saudi government, a Russian oligarch, a Japanese or Chinese conglomerate, or Norway’s central bank, among countless others.
The above excerpt was originally published in the Toronto Star.
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