We’ve put together some resources that we hope will assist you in considering some of the stakes as you complete our survey. in advance of our June petition launch.
To complete the survey, click here
To find out more about election finance reform click here
From Elections BC’s website:
Elections BC is responsible for administering electoral finance laws in B.C. This includes Parts 9, 10, and 11 of the Election Act and the financing provisions of the Recall and Initiative Act. In other jurisdictions, electoral finance is often called campaign finance.
Electoral finance laws improve the democratic process by creating a more level playing field for candidates and political parties and providing transparency. They also prevent money from unfairly influencing election outcomes and from swaying public policy decisions.
Download Parts 10 and 11 of the Act here
Download ElectionsBC’s Frequently Asked Questions here
Take a look at how other provinces govern political contributions
Download our chart.
A Closer Look At The BC New Democrats’ Campaign Finance Reform Act
“One might say that this modification might come from the self-interest of BC New Democrats. After all, around 2/3rds of BC New Democrats donors are individuals, while around 2/3rds of BC Liberals donors are corporations. That might be true, but I believe that misses the greater moral argument: that in our democracy, only real persons are able to vote. Artificial persons, such as corporations and labour, can not. Therefore only those that are allowed to participate in voting, the individual citizen, should be the only ones that are able to participate financially by donating.”
Improving the Electoral Process
Time for more accountability and transparency not less
Canadian Taxpayers federation (CTF) position on campaign finance reformation:
“Contribution limits are an affront to two of the most basic freedoms in our society: freedom of speech and freedom of association. If we believe that voters should be informed, we ought to encourage, not restrict, campaign spending.” “Less spending on campaigns are unlikely to increase public trust, involvement, or attention. Implicit or explicit spending limits reduce public knowledge during campaigns. Simply put: getting more money into campaigns benefits voters.” “The right to speak necessarily includes the right to pay for the speech. Spending money is protected not because “money is speech” but because government limits on spending for speech restrict speech itself.” ” If government’s ability to regulate and redistribute is restrained, big money, from either business or unions, has no reason to flow to candidate coffers. The solution to this problem is less government, not less spending.”
COPE councillor Ellen Woodsworth pushes finance-reform motion
“Woodsworth’s motion urges the city to request the UBCM [Union of British Columbia Municipalities] to ask the provincial government to amend the Vancouver Charter and the Local Government Act to require full and continuing disclosure of political donations. These include all contributions not only during the campaign itself but also during nominations and between elections.” “The proposed motion also recalls one of the recommendations made by the Vancouver Electoral Reform Commission chaired by former B.C. Supreme Court judge Thomas Berger. The 2004 Berger report suggested that if a party incurs debt in the course of a campaign, all donations to that party made until the debt is fully retired must be reported as campaign contributions.” “Although Woodsworth’s motion notes that campaign expenditures by parties and individuals have “grown exponentially”, she does not recommend any specific spending limits. But she will ask the UBCM to put this issue on its agenda.”
UBCM to consider local campaign finance reform
“The last refuge of hidden money in B.C. politics could be wiped away in time for the next municipal election, if delegates to this week’s Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention pass a resolution calling on the provincial government to limit the amount of money that can be spent in local elections — and if the provincial government acts on the UBCM request.” “The motion, which could come before the UBCM as early as this afternoon, was introduced by Vancouver City Councillor Ellen Woodsworth.
“Campaign expenditures by parties and individuals have grown exponentially over the last couple of elections. It’s crucial that voters know where this money is coming from,” Woodsworth told The Tyee.”
Electoral finance reform gains support
“An overwhelming majority of British Columbians support limits on campaign spending and donations during municipal elections — including on who can donate and how much, according to a new poll.”A majority of respondents agreed with the poll’s three central questions, which cut to the heart of what the task force is debating:
- There was overwhelming support (85 per cent) for establishing limits on how much money candidates can spend while campaigning.
- Three quarters said there should be limits on how much money any one person can donate to a candidate or political party.
- And 66 per cent agreed that unions and corporations should be prohibited from donating money to election campaigns
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