True or false quiz released over B.C. Liberal claims on political donation ban

(Victoria, 23 April 2013) – In an effort to dispel some of the misinformation that the B.C. Liberal party is spreading over its opposition to banning corporate and union donations to B.C. political parties, IntegrityBC has released a true or false quiz on some of those claims.

The first myth that the quiz tackles is the idea that the BC NDP is pushing for a ban because they have the most to gain from it, when in fact the reform is supported by parties from one end of the political spectrum to the other, by parties with the most to lose from a ban and by parties with something to gain.

Supporters include the B.C. Green party, the B.C. Conservative party, BC First, the Christian Heritage party, all three Independent MLAs, Vision Vancouver, the NPA, the Committee of Progressive Electors (COPE) and – according to a Mustel public opinion survey in March – by nearly 60 per cent of British Columbians as well.

As for the NDP having the most to gain from a ban, in 2012 the NDP raised $5.4 million from individuals, while the B.C. Liberals raised a comparable $5 million.

The quiz refutes the idea that a ban automatically means public subsidies of political parties. For IntegrityBC, the bigger worry should be about over the top spending by parties in B.C.

The B.C. Liberals spent more than all four of Alberta’s major parties combined in 2011,” said IntegrityBC executive director Dermod Travis. “Perhaps the real problem is with the B.C. Liberal party acting as though it has money to burn.”

The quiz also draws attention to B.C.’s election spending limits. At $18.2 million, B.C.’s limit – for parties that run a full-slate of 85 candidates – is three times the federal limit (on a per voter basis) and is enough to pay virtually all of the 2012 election expenses for Quebec’s three major parties combined, including the expenses for each of the party’s 125 candidates.

The quiz underlines the fact that a ban won’t stop corporations and unions from participating in the electoral process, as Concerned Citizens for B.C. and other groups did prior to the campaign.

During the campaign itself, these groups will still be free to speak out, subject to the constitutional third-party spending limits that are in place.

The only group that stands to benefit from a reform of B.C.’s electoral finance laws are British Columbians,” said Travis. “It’s unfortunate that the B.C. Liberals choose to be odd party out on an idea whose time has come.”

 

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1. The true or false quiz is available in PDF format at: http://www.integritybc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/IntegrityBC-trueorfalse-1.pdf

2. A complete a backgrounder on electoral finance reform is available at:http://www.integritybc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/integrity_report_MAR2013UPDATE.pdf

 

For more information:

Dermod Travis, Executive Director

IntegrityBC

250-590-5126

info@integritybc.ca