Tag Archives: campaign financing

Carole James Introduces Campaign Finance Reform Bill

This will be interesting to watch; New Democrat Leader Carole James has tabled a campaign finance reform bill that would change the way B.C.’s political parties are financed. The key change? Only citizens will be able to contribute to political parties. And that means that unions and corporations cannot contribute.

“We have the opportunity to make British Columbia a leader in democratic reform, to rebuild public faith and public confidence in institutions of government. These campaign finance reforms are key to B.C.’s democratic renewal,” said James.

The NDP are often accused of being controlled by the unions that contribute to their political campaigns. So if the NDP are proposing campaign finance reform that would eliminate the contributions that unions make to the NDP, would you not just assume that the BC Liberals would welcome that opportunity? After all, that would get big labour out of the political process.

Of course the other part of the campaign finance reform bill that NDP leader Carole James has introduced would eliminate the contributions that big business can make to political parties. This side of things might not sit so well with the BC Liberals, after all, business groups (and lawyers who get to be appointed Special Prosecutors) tend to be pretty generous to the BC Liberal cause.

Funny how it is rarely a concern that the BC Liberals might be beholden to or controlled by the business groups who contribute to their political campaigns.

It will be fun to see just how much traction this private members’ bill receives in the BC Liberal controlled legislature.

Get Big Money out of BC’s Local Council Elections

From the people at Think City:

We only have until Thursday, April 15 to tell the Premier to get big money influence out of BC’s local council elections.

Think City is asking you and thousands of other citizens who took the civic electoral reform survey to send a message to Premier Gordon Campbell’s Local Government Elections Task Force right now by clicking here.

To recap, on March 20, the Premier’s minister of community and rural development and task force co-chair told the Vancouver Sun he was not in favour of campaign finance limits for local elections. He claimed citizens weren’t telling him they wanted civic parties or candidates to be bound by laws similar to those already in place for federal or provincial elections.

That’s not what the vast majority of thousands of citizens told us in response to Think City’s election reform survey. More than 93 per cent of survey participants told us they want tougher election finance laws.

So just who is Gordon Campbell’s minister listening too? Why does the minister support deep-pocketed donors plowing tens of thousands of dollars into politicians’ election coffers. Why does he think it’s okay for Vancouver’s elections to cost more than four times more per capita than federal elections? Who really benefits from big money influence on civic parties and politicians at election time?

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It’s time to restore the integrity of BC’s local elections. The taint of unchecked campaign donations and spending is eroding the public’s faith in civic government.

The last time major changes were made to how we elect local governments was in 1993. Stacey, we can’t afford another 17 years of wild west spending at election time, despite what the Premier’s minister may want to believe.

Citizens need to take a stand for civic democracy. Let’s make sure the 2011 elections across BC are free, fair and not for sale to the highest bidder.

Please click here to send the Premier’s task force an action email right away – it will only take a minute of your time.


Neil Monckton
Think City Chair

P.S. For more information about Think City’s civic electoral reform survey, please click here.

P.P.S. And please contribute to our Civic Electoral Reform fund through our secure online donation system here.