Recommended Reading

IntegrityBCSubmission

Submission by IntegrityBC on the Discussion Paper on Expense Limits in Local Elections

“IntegrityBC has serious reservations regarding the credibility of the data and information provided in the paper and some of the conclusions reached from that data. The paper’s scope and analysis are insufficient for stakeholders to provide valid and relevant opinions to the questions posed.”

Samara Democracy Report #6

A study by Samara examined 20 different ways Canadians could participate in politics outside the ballot box.

Nearly 2,300 adults nationwide, with an oversample of young Canadians (18 to 34), participated in the online survey. In it, people were asked whether they had recently been involved in 20 activities Samara considered vital to measuring political engagement.

In just three of those 20 pursuits did more than half of Canadians participate during the past year: joining a group (not necessarily a political one), volunteering, and signing a petition (58, 55 and 51 per cent, respectively). The least popular activities involved “formal” engagement: volunteering in an election, donating to a party or candidate, or joining a political party in the last five years (each drew a positive response of 10 per cent).

Global Corruption Barometer 2013>

Transparency International surveyed people in 107 countries about corruption in their government system and found that corruption is seen as running through the foundations of their democratic system. Canadians surveyed in Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer are most gravely concerned about the honesty of their political parties – 62 per cent of respondents think they are corrupt.

Consumer demand for cynical and negative news frames

A study done at McGill university shows that when given a chance between negative and positive political news stories, students who considered themselves politically active chose negative news stories to positive ones.

Open Meetings: Best Practices Guide for Local Government

Ombudsperson Kim Carter makes suggestions as to how to improve transparency in government, including one IntegrityBC has been pushing for: if local governments want to hold private meetings, they should provide a detailed and conspicuous advance public notice to its constituents as to what will be discussed.

IntegrityBC’s Westside-Kelowna byelection questionnaire

Responses to IntegrityBC’s questionnaire for candidates running in the July 10th Westside-Kelowna byelection.

MLA List

A who’s who of MLAs elected on May 14th, 2013. List by caucus, portfolio and critics.

B.C.’s submission to the Joint Review Panel on the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal

The Government of British Columbia’s submission to the Joint Review Panel on the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline.

BC Companies with a temporary foreign work permit

A list of the over 5,000 businesses and companies in BC who have applied for and received a temporary foreign work permit between June 2010 and June 2012.

CFIB  – Big City Spenders

With municipal leaders from across the country gathering in Vancouver later this week for the annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling on them to take action on municipal overspending. CFIB today released a report showing that spending has grown more than three times the rate of population over the past 12 years in Canada’s three largest cities – Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – and in Canadian municipalities overall.

Richard Mosley Federal Court ruling

On Thursday, May 23, 2013, Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley ruled that electoral fraud occurred during the 2011 federal election. Conservative party robocalls “struck at the integrity of the electoral process by attempting to dissuade voters from casting ballots for their preferred candidates. This form of ‘voter suppression,’ was, until the 41st General Election, largely unknown in this country.”

2013 election voter turnout and results by political party

IntegrityBC has compiled an Excel spreadsheet which contains the election results and voter turnout for the 2013 election where you can see which ridings had the best – and worst – turnouts in the 2013 provincial election.

Labour Force Statistics Comparison – April 2009 to April 2013

This excel file shows employment and unemployment numbers for all Canadian provinces – contrasting April 2009 to the latest numbers available on April 2013. Since 2009, BC’s employment rate fell from 60.2% to 60.1%, compared to a national increase of 0.8%. The total number of British Columbians employed (FT/PT) rose 5.3%, compared to a national rise of 6.3%. BC created 116,200 jobs, an increase of 5.29%, compared to Ontario’s increase of 6.37%, Quebec’s rise of 5.87% and Alberta’s growth of 8.71%.

Local government letter – April 18th

Letter received from Don Fast, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development on possible amendments to the Local Government Act regarding local elections.

B.C. Liberals in no position to give other parties lessons on political fundraising

It’s a bit rich for the B.C. Liberal party to be giving lessons to the B.C. NDP on political fundraising, according to IntegrityBC. The organization pointed to a recent question posed by Craig McInnes. He asked readers if they felt there was a connection between the fact that the largest donor to the B.C. Liberal campaign in 2009 was the New Car Dealers Association of B.C. and that the only significant tax change that survived the transition back to the PST was the 12 per cent sales tax on private vehicle sales.

A Reality Check for BC: The Impact of Behavioural Responses: on the 2013 Budget’s Proposed Income Tax Increases

A C.D. Howe Institute study which suggests that the proposed income tax increases in the 2013 BC budget, may not work as proposed because individuals and corporations change their behavior to compensate for a lack of disposable income.

Political donations from April 1st 2012 – March 31st 2013

Download the Excel files containing the total political donations for the BC Conservatives, BC Liberals and the BC NDP for the fiscal year 2012/13.

BC Conservative Pre-Election Platform

The BC Conservative Party’s 2013 Pre-Election Platform: “We Believe in B.C.” It offers an “intentionally incomplete” account of the party’s values and plans for governing.

Review of the Multicultural Strategic Outreach Plan

A full copy of the “Multicultural Strategic Outreach Plan” review which was prepared in 2011 and early 2012 by the BC Liberals, and made public in February 2013. The report includes potential partisan activities and inappropriate use of the taxpayer’s dime. A BC government news release can be found here.

Twitter Reaction to Events often at Odds with Overall Public Opinion

A a year long Pew Research Center study concluded that the  reaction on Twitter to major political events and policy decisions often differs a great deal from public opinion as measured by surveys

Demos – Stacked Deck

Demos.org comprehensively explores how wealth & influence affects US politics, specially when it relates to economic mobility in America.

Liberal Multicultural Plan

Plan by the BC Liberal Party to attract multi-cultural voters in BC allegedly using government resources. The plan included developing a possible voter database with the “coordination between constituency assistants, the Party, the ministry of state for multiculturalism, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat, and GCPE.”

C.D. Howe Institute Canada’s 2012 Fiscal Accountability Rankings

Despite progress over the past decade, Canada’s senior governments can still improve their financial reporting and accuracy in hitting budget targets.

BC government ad program overview

Presentation to the BC Liberal party caucus outlining the most important pieces of their ad campaign strategy and proof points.

BC Political Party Donations

IntegrityBC has put together two easily sortable documents which contain all political party donations from 2005 to February 2013. Feel free to download them and learn more about who is behind each political party.

Speech from the throne 2013

A script of what was said on the 2013 throne speech on February 12th 2013.

Lost in Translation or just Lost?: Canadians’ Priorities and the House of Commons

This Samara Democracy Report, analyzes almost half a year’s worth of parliamentary transcripts to discover what subjects are discussed in the House of Commons and compares them to the issues Canadians say they care about.

How Canada Performs

This study reviews and compares a series of countries taking into consideration factors like poverty, life satisfactions and gender income gap.

Letter to Premier Clark on Auditor General Re-appointment

IntegrityBC wrote a letter to the Premier of BC Christy Clark regarding the re-appointment of Auditor General John Doyle.

Forsaken: The report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry

Inquiry commissioner Wally Oppal recommended a single regional police force to be created for Greater Vancouver after the investigation of serial killer Robert Pickton. Click above for the full 1458 page report.

The role of Natural Gas in Powering Canada’s Economy

This report by the Conference Board of Canada discusses the economic contribution that natural gas exploration, production, transportation, distribution and consumption will make to the Canadian economy from 2012 to 2035.

13 ways to kill your community

A small book by Doug Griffiths and Kelly Clemmer about how constituents can kill their small towns following 13 easy steps.

Samara Democracy Report – Who’s the boss

Despite Canada’s status as one of the world’s leading democracies, new research shows that just over half of the population is satisfied with the way Canadian democracy works—a 20-point drop in less than 10 years. To learn more about Samara Canada click here

In Defence of Political Staff

This article examines the work of political staffers in Canadian politics, specifically in Ottawa. It argues that to improve the quality of political staffers better attention to training is required as well as more stable career paths.

Elections Canada Robocalls

This discussion paper written by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada discusses the issues that arose from alleged improper communications received by electors in the days leading up to polling day and on polling day, May 2, 2011.

Report on the 27th Alberta General Election

The chief electoral officer of Alberta wrote a report concerning the 2008 provincial general election and ways to improve it.

Winning the Media Campaign

From the conventions to the eve of the final presidential debate, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have both received more negative than positive coverage from the news media, though overall Obama has had an edge, according to a new study.

Mike is right

Not one to miss an opportunity for a partisan shot given the nature of his political post, McDonald tweeted: “Shocked at low NDP turnout in Fairview. Huge media, high profile candidates, less than 400 voted. NDP support not deep.”Despite the dig, McDonald is on to something.

Provincial Solvency and Federal Obligations

“Provincial Solvency and Federal Obligations” by Marc Joffe provides a number of  important lessons for Canadian fiscal policy authorities at the federal, provincial and territorial levels.

Canadian Federal Political Parties and Personal Privacy Protection: A Comparative Analysis

This paper presents a comparative overview of the ways that federal Canadian political parties collect, process and disseminate personal information.

Oral statement by IntegrityBC on the B.C. government’s court reference in regards to third party spending – September 11, 2012

IntegrityBC’s oral statement at the BC Court of appeal’s court reference in regards to third party spending. To learn more about the case click here to view Facta and Affidavits.

1984 in 2012 – The Assault on Reason by Allan Gregg

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” – Voltaire

Kalamazoo Enbridge Report

Accident report for the July 25th 2010 pipeline rupture in Marshall, Michigan.

Legislative Assembly Spending

Click the following links to view the legislative assembly spending for the 2008-09 fiscal year, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.

A modest proposal for the District of Lillooet

IntegrityBC recommends the District of Lillooet to hold an open house in order to create a more trustworthy municipal government.

The Righteous Mind — Understanding the Liberal-Conservative Polarity in Politics and Decision-Making

A brief look into how politicians make decisions and what it means for culturally-divided the United States

A Quick Guide to Writing Letter to the Editor

The letters page is one of the newspaper’s most important elements. It’s a forum for readers’ opinions. Columns and editorials offer a range of views, but letters give you a chance to get involved in the public discussion of issues that matter.

BC Government Credit Card Expenditures from 04-01-2011 to 03-31-2012

The credit card expenditures of Officers of the Legislature and Ministries for 2010 – 2011 and 2011 – 2012.

Party Leadership Financial Statements

All party leadership contestants are required by law to file a leadership contestant financial report. Click here to download NDP leader Adrian Dix’s, and click here for Premier Christy Clark’s.

78 Ways to fix the way we do Politics

iPolitics offers this collection of provocative proposals to improve our political system and strengthen our democracy

MP Exit Interviews

In 2009 and 2010, a group from Samara partnered with the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians to conduct Canada’s first-ever series of exit interviews with 65 former Members of Parliament, including 21 cabinet ministers and one prime minister.

BC NDP Sidles Up to Business

A recent story in The Tyee mentioned in passing that the logging company Canfor Corporation had given more than $56,000 to British Columbia’s New Democratic Party in 2011

Canadian MSM political news coverage leaves much to be desired: report

While “mainstream media” news outlets are often lambasted as conveyers of shallow and divisive journalism that favor political score keeping over substantive analysis, Toronto-based think tank Samara offers a more qualified critique of Canadian political journalism.

Exchange of letters between the BC Liberal party and IntegrityBC.

On June 11th, IntegrityBC received a letter from Mike McDonald, the executive director of the BC Liberal party. In the interests of transparency, we’ve posted his letter and our reply.

Orange Crush Anatomy

NDP senior strategist and longtime Jack Layton adviser, provides an insider’s account of the anatomy of the Orange Crush

No Love for Liberals on Valentines

The 2012 spring session of the legislature began, ironically, on Saint Valentine’s Day. You could not feel the love

BC Polarized Political Climate Turning Voters Off

With MLAs back in their seats this week, it’s a good time to remind B.C.’s political leaders that a “trust deficit” has broken out between British Columbians and their elected officials

Governments are now one of the least trusted institutions

The 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer sees an unprec­edented nine-point global decline in trust in government. In twelve countries, it trails business, media, and non-governmental organizations as the least trusted institution. In near­ly every country surveyed, the general population says it trusts government leaders less to tell the truth than it does business leaders.

Rebuilding Trust in Politicians

For 2012, politicians should consider these resolutions to gain trust back from its people

Canada’s Political Outsiders

A new report offers insight into what’s fuelling the political disengagement of Canada’s youth

BC Polarized Political Climate Turning Voters Off

With MLAs back in their seats this week, it’s a good time to remind B.C.’s political leaders that a “trust deficit” has broken out between British Columbians and their elected officials

Governments are now one of the least trusted institutions

The 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer sees an unprec­edented nine-point global decline in trust in government. In twelve countries, it trails business, media, and non-governmental organizations as the least trusted institution. In near­ly every country surveyed, the general population says it trusts government leaders less to tell the truth than it does business leaders

Rebuilding Trust in Politicians

For 2012, politicians should consider these resolutions to gain trust back from its people

When will we vote for Integrity?

At some point, the voting public are going to demand integrity in government, a commodity not only long missing, but seemingly extinct

Dual Political memberships?

Last week, The Vancouver Sun’s Doug Ward reported several hundred Surrey residents had dual New Democrat and Liberal memberships while both parties were holding leadership races. How much legs will this story have

Politicians follow money to Calgary – Financial Post

Business community sources say Ms. Clark is hosting a $500-a-ticket event at the Calgary Petroleum Club targeting deep-pocketed oil patch players

On Authenticity: How the Truth can Restore Faith in Politics and Government

A recent speech on the relationship between authenticity and trust in public life. Gregg posited that if our political leaders were to act authentically and speak truthfully, Canadians would be more inclined to trust them regardless of whether or not they agreed with their politics

Auditor General Report

This report includes further detail on the audit opinion of the government’s Public Accounts, as well as further recommendations on financial reporting and an overview of management letters

Independent MLA Proposes Radical Reform of Election Financing

The Independent MLA for Cariboo North, Bob Simpson, has tabled the Election Finance Amendment Act that restricts the right to donate to candidates and political parties to registered British Columbia voters only and caps those individual donations at $1000 per year

Citizens United Going Down? Democrats Introduce Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Ruling – Huffington Post

The amendment would effectively reverse two landmark Supreme Court decisions — the 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo, which said spending money in elections is a form of speech, and the 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which ruled it unconstitutional to regulate the money spent to influence elections by corporations and unions

At Issue: Honesty and holding true to promises – Victoria News

The Liberals were mired in the 2004 sponsorship scandal; the Conservatives were found guilty of contempt of Parliament last month. When it comes to ethics, virtually no government has a clean slate, yet experts agree it’s an indispensable pillar of democracy

Businessman seeks to end ‘politics as usual’ – The Globe and Mail

Wayne Crookes launches an advocacy group called Integrity BC, which he said in a statement will be “a non-partisan voice championing accountability and integrity in B.C. politics.”

Wake-up Call for Democracy

At last week’s Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) forum in Cranbrook both sides of the issue told the audience that they have a rare chance to participate in democracy as it’s meant to be

Motivations and Barriers to voting in BC Provincial – IntegrityBC

Released in August 2009, this report is an in-depth analysis focusing on voting behaviour in the 2009 provincial election in relation to previous voting behaviour