First, the good, from Kate Webb in Vancouver Metro:
I’ll admit it. The first time I read about Christy Clark’s $20,000-a-plate fundraisers, in which donors pay for access to B.C.’s most powerful politician, I shrugged and thought, “What else is new? Isn’t that just how politics works? How else would parties raise enough money to win an election?”
But it’s not “just how politics works,” and there are other models, and my initial apathy is indicative of how normalized B.C.’s culture of corruption has become. As I learned after some digging, most of the provinces in Canada, as well as the federal government, have banned these types of payments for access, because they create clear conflicts of interest.
Like Ontario — whose Premier is currently caving (wisely) to similar pressure to reform her province’s campaign finance laws — British Columbia is one of the few jurisdictions left in Canada with absolutely no limits on how much individuals, corporations and unions can donate to political parties. What’s worse — they can do it anonymously.
The good news is that, with the 2017 provincial election one year away, we are about to see a huge resurgence of the movement to get big money out of B.C. politics.
Democracy Watch, a non-partisan advocacy group, issued a press release last Thursday calling these private fundraisers attended by B.C. politicians “a clear violation of conflict-of-interest laws that prohibit politicians across Canada from accepting gifts connected with their positions.” The group is urging B.C. to adopt Quebec’s model, which limits individual donations to $100 a year plus another $100 in election years, and bans union and corporate donations...
Next, the bad, as reported by longtime reader Lew:
(Yesterday) afternoon just after one o’clock on CKNW, Assistant News Director Charmaine de Silva was chewing the fat with Simi Sara about Christy Clark’s fundraising activities. In the face of numerous NDP attempts to introduce a bill banning union and corporate donations (the latest well advertised for this afternoon), and the fact it was one of the planks in the NDP’s last election campaign, they offered this:
Assistant News Director: “What’s interesting to me is I think this is a real opportunity for the NDP…if the NDP wants to jump on this and say they’re in support of banning union and corporate donations...but remember, the NDP has played on this side of the fence as well...they don’t want to ban union donations…”
Simi Sara: “They have to! Come on! Plum opportunity here!”
Assistant News Director: “That’s what I’m saying. I mean this is an opportunity…if you want to say that you’re on the right side of this...you can do this as well, but I...you know what… I heavily doubt that’s gonna happen because the NDP without…without…you know, they get a fair share of corporate donations as well, plus union donations...that’s gonna be a…a big problem for that party also…”
Simi Sara: You know who loses? We do. We lose with all of this. It’s just ridiculous!”...
Finally, the Keefly, from the Keef:
And, lest you think I have been selectively exclusionary on pay-to-play (or even secret big money hook-up tweets sans pay-to-play) tweets from the Keef, feel free to scan his Twitmachine feed (if you must).
This has been a special kinda/sorta edition of 'The Keef Report'....Previous editions can be found...Here.