Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bill M-209 2011 - Election Finance Amendment Act, 2011

I meant to write about this AGES ago as this is a change I very much believe in.

Bob Simpson, independent MLA for Cariboo North,  introduced in October a private members bill to change the Elections Act to restrict who can donate to political campaigns in BC.

His bill makes a fundamental change to who can contribute to political campaigns in BC.   The private member's bill restricts donations to people that are registered voters in BC.   This means no donations from businesses, unions, non-profits, immigrants, foreigners, people elsewhere in Canada or youth.  It restricts donations to people that can actually vote in BC elections.

I am a big fan of a change like this.   I do not think any person or entity that is not allowed to vote in the election should be allowed to give money in the election.   If you are not a registered voter, the election is none of your business.  Elections are only for registered voters in BC.

This change would move BC in line with the law in Quebec.

I doubt the bill will go anywhere, it will simply fade away like the vast majority of private member's bills but it is nice to see it come forward.  I have a faint hope the current government might consider it, I have no expectation the NDP will support the idea.  At this point there is no date or mention of when the bill might come to a second reading.

Bob Simpson also brought forward M205-2011 - Fall Fixed Election Act, 2011 in November, which would alter the BC Constitution to move the fixed election date to the second Tuesday in October.  I think this is a much better date for elections to happen in BC other than as it is now in May.


Ian said...

Why don't you see the NDP supporting this idea (at least in principle if not action)? The Libs are far more dependent on corporate donations than the NDP is on union donations and most provincial NDP wings argue for very similar policies.

Bernard said...

Mainly I see it possibly being supported by the Liberals as a populist move to weaken BC Conservative support. I see the NDP not backing it because it is coming from Bob Simpson and will only go somewhere if the Liberal support. The NDP has had a habit in the last few years of opposing good ideas that a left of centre government could be expected to enact simply because the Liberals brought it forward.

That said, Carole James did move a private member's bill in May of 2010 M204-2010 that would seem to have the same effect

I honestly do not expect it to go anywhere.

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