Here’s why non-Canadian celebrities won’t be fined for election endorsements

The man who once portrayed a character who worked for the Ministry of Silly Walks has shared his preference on who he would most like to see as the next prime minister of Canada.

John Cleese of Monty Python fame tweeted out his support for Justin Trudeau.

“A wave at my Canadian friends… Could we have another Trudeau please?”

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Cleese, it seems, was a fan of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s father, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

IN DEPTH: Full coverage of the of the federal election across Canada

Back at the beginning of the month, American comedian Sarah Silverman threw her support behind the NDP, asking people to vote for Mira Oreck, the candidate for Vancouver-Granville.

But their endorsements aren’t technically legal. Section 331 of the Canada Elections Act says:

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“No person who does not reside in Canada shall, during an election period, in any way induce electors to vote or refrain from voting or vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate.”

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That didn’t stop fellow Brit John Oliver from weighing in. He skirted the rule by flashing the $5,000 he might have been fined when he began urging Canadians not to vote for Stephen Harper.

WATCH: Mike Myers dressed as Mountie says ‘Don’t vote for Stephen Harper’ on John Oliver’s show

But Oliver and the others don’t have to worry, election authorities said the law – section 331 of the Canada Elections Act –  only affects people who “induce” voters.

“To induce there must be a tangible thing offered. A personal view is not inducement,” Elections Canada spokesman John Enright told the Canadian Press.

“The expression of personal political views by Canadians or non-Canadians as to which parties or candidates they support is not an offence under the Act,” he explained. “This also applies to Mr. Oliver.”

Ex-pat celebrities have also been throwing in their two cents’ worth. Last month Pamela Anderson told reporters she wouldn’t support Stephen Harper because of his record on climate change while Donald Sutherland called the Conservative leader “a gunslinger” and criticized his stance on refugees.

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Wayne Gretzky appeared alongside the prime minister during an event in Toronto saying that Harper was “wonderful for the country” and that he knew he had the country’s best interests at heart.

WATCH: Live election results

None of these celebrities are actually able to vote. That right was taken away when the Court of Appeal overturned a ruling back in July that had restored the right of more than one million long-term expats to vote.

However, polling stations are open all day for Canadian citizens who have not been abroad for over five years to cast their votes and the longest election campaign in Canadian history is finally coming to a close.

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