Want to know the definition of irony?
Peter Fassbender, minister of everything under the kitchen sink, a man who, in his own word, is “one who believes strongly in democracy and people’s right to be engaged” using his concern over free speech and democratic rights to defend the reason he will not ban or limit corporate or union donations in civic elections.
The proposed legislation from Peter Fassbender’s office does set limits on campaign expenses, based on a city’s population, and on third-party advertising.
But it sets no limits on campaign donations, no bans on corporate or union donations, no requirement to disclose donations before the election and no requirement to report donations in years outside the election year.
That goes against what the province’s union of municipalities, with Vancouver council leading the way, has asked for since 2013 because of concerns about multimillion-dollar elections or campaigns in which one donor appears to have too much influence.
But the minister said there are problems with setting tight limits on donations and who can donate.
“I’m one who believes strongly in democracy and people’s right to be engaged,” said Mr. Fassbender, a former mayor of the City of Langley. “If there is too tight a box [around campaign donations], people will say it affects free speech and democracy.”
And by that, as one person commented when I posted this online, he means ” Could effect my chances for re-election.”
That this sudden champion for democracy and the people’s right to be engaged, remains silent in the face of ongoing scandals involving his own governments efforts to circumvent democracy.
Sorry Fassbender but I’d have to give you a ‘D’ for effort on this one. Elections unfettered by monetary influence, free from large corporate, personal or unions donations are essential for democracy. The only ‘people’ who are going to complain about limits, are the ones handing out the cash.