FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2017
One last chance before election to Get Big Money Out Of Politics
Dogwood encourages constituents to contact MLAs in support of reform
VICTORIA — B.C.’s largest citizen engagement group today applauded the introduction of election reform bills from MLAs John Horgan and Vicki Huntington. “86 per cent of British Columbians want to ban corporate and union donations, including four in five BC Liberal voters,” said Dogwood campaigner Lisa Sammartino. “This should not be a partisan issue.”
Polling commissioned by Dogwood and completed by Insights West in April 2016 found large majorities of British Columbians also supported a ban on out-of-province donations and a limit on individual contributions. Asked to set a fair annual limit on political contributions, the average response was $709. There are currently no limits in British Columbia.
“Across the country there are distinct differences in how much an individual can give a political party, from $100 in Quebec to $15,000 in Alberta,” explained Sammartino.“We urge MLAs to give the Chief Electoral Officer a mandate to set a fair limit that ensures political access is not for purchase by the wealthy.”
Polling also found two-thirds of British Columbians believe citizens are not influential in shaping policy in the province, with corporations having outsized leverage. “This is one reason voter turnout is so low in B.C.,” said Sammartino. “People are justifiably cynical. MLAs have the power to change that.”
Starting tomorrow, Dogwood will encourage British Columbians to contact provincial lawmakers from all parties to advocate for strong reforms to B.C.’s political finance laws, starting with a ban on corporate, union and out-of-province donations.
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Dogwood Initiative is B.C.’s largest citizen group, uniting more than 260,000 supporters on campaigns to stop oil tanker expansion on the West Coast, U.S. thermal coal exports and big money in B.C. politics.
Insights West’s poll results can be found here: http://www.insightswest.com/news/british-columbians-ready-to-take-big-money-out-of-politics/
A copy of the proposed Get Big Money Out Of Politics Act can be found here: http://bcndpcaucus.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/02/2017-01-27-Get-Big-Money-Out-of-Politics-Act-2017.pdf
A copy of the proposed Cash for Access Elimination Act and Election Finance Amendment Act can be found here: https://www.scribd.com/document/339515296/Cash-for-Access-Elimination-Act-and-Election-Finance-Amendment-Act#from_embed
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