Liberals holding on to donor cash cow

Publication: 
Vancouver Sun
Author: 
Vaughn Palmer
Date Published: 
Mon, 01/16/2017

Quoted from the article (online here):

When the B.C. Liberals released an update Friday on what proved to be a banner year in political fundraising, they strove to minimize their continued reliance on big dollar donations from the corporate sector. ...

Others would welcome an end to the political controversy over donations, leaving public policy decisions to be debated on merit as opposed to the suspicion that money talked and talked loudly.

The latter point was well made a year ago by Vicki Huntington, the independent member of the legislature for Delta South, in a speech where she denounced B.C.'s "Wild West approach" on political fundraising.

"British Columbia has the distinction of being the largest Canadian province with no restriction on who finances our political campaigns. Unlimited corporate, union and even out-of-province donations remain the norm," declared Huntington in presenting a private member's Election Finance amendment Act that would eliminate all of those abuses and more.

"In B.C., there is a public conviction that money talks, that democracy is bankrolled by special interests," she continued. "It is a conviction that undermines not only the legitimacy of our democracy but also our trust in the institutions of a democracy."

In these skeptical times, Huntington's larger point remains. And in light of her recent announcement that she will retire at the next election, her comments provide another reminder why her clear independent voice will be missed on the floor of the legislature.

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