This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Donors wield too much influence.

This week’s topic: Should we move to public financing for municipal election campaigns?

I never thought I would see the day that any big municipal campaign would open its books and disclose whose pocket they were in prior to the actual vote – yet it’s happened in this year’s municipal election in Vancouver. For the most part, both Vision Vancouver and the NPA’s contributions are out on the table and it isn’t a pretty sight – at least not from my perspective.

Big business is in bed with big unions. Corporate friends are perhaps paving the way for easier business dealings and it’s just one big happy family – except if you are a voter. Why? Because the party and candidate you thought you were voting for suddenly looks different when you see who is contributing the vast amounts of money required to fund these glamorous campaigns. It’s in the millions in Vancouver and it needs to stop.

Municipal voters deserve to know who is funding candidates before they vote, and they need to be assured that those contributions won’t impact future policy creation, contract awards and planning decisions once elected.

It’s a sad state of affairs repeated all over the province that often ends with the biggest funders wielding great influence in municipal business.

Read Brent Stafford’s column here.

Currently, many people are calling for outright bans on union or corporate donations, and limits on individual contributions. It sounds great in theory, but is easily bypassed by filtering out funds through many individuals and maxing out their contribution. And neither does this method prevent “dark money” from being spent by other organizations, like third-party advertisers that aren’t directly associated with a campaign, or contributions amassed between elections.

That’s why we need to consider a move towards public financing for municipal campaigns…


READ the rest of this weeks column, comment and vote HERE:

5 thoughts on “This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Donors wield too much influence.

  1. I agree 100%. When you look at all the ‘public service’ ads that the Cons are doing to promote Remembrance day and the Franklin Expedition – thinly veiled ads for the Con party – and other ‘stupid’ propaganda’, then it is obvious that public money is already being spent to campaign. Sadly, even Cpl Cirillo was exploited by the parties and their camera-ready alligator-tears. These bastards need to be stopped. So, let us cut out the corporate donors and the million dollar budgets and cut out the propaganda messages and simply limit candidates to town hall meetings and local radio. Period!
    Frankly, I am against parties, too. The candidate’s first allegiance is to the party, not the people who elected them and that is wrong, too. We don’t need no stinkin’ parties!


    1. Personally I think we should have politicians “earn” their political campaign funds through “reality” tv shows….
      We could have the leaders of the parties work as pig farmers for an entire month. Feeding, cleaning stys, vaccinating , shipping them to market, etc. The “farmer” that earned the most money (as judged by real pig farmers) would win a sum of money.
      Then we could have them look after kids in a daycare for a month, Feeding, cleaning, medicating, story time, etc. Then we would have the children judge which politician was the “best”.
      Next up. Hospital workers. Feeding, cleaning, medicating, (geez this is getting repeticious! lol)
      the winner of each of these “reality events” would earn a considerable sum for their party AND learn what its like in the real world…..
      I can dream cant I?


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