Enter B.C.’s new “riled west” era of campaign financing
All of the above are only a smattering of improvements that really should be made to Bill 3, to really make B.C.’s campaign finance system more transparent, accountable, equitable, and affordable.
The NDP’s legislation largely misses some of those marks. In part, I suspect, due to the rushed time frame that the government had for issuing its drafting instructions and getting the bill written, in addition to all of the other legislation it had to process through the pipe.
For sure, the guts of Bill 3 are pretty, darn great.
As a starting point for radical reform that is sorely needed, it is far more commendable than not.
Yet the public angst and anger over its public financing component is real and bound to grow. It is not to be dismissed or politically “weathered”, in some cynical assessment that the B.C. Liberals won’t win much from its resistance.
Those overly generous public subsidy provisions are a godsend to Dianne Watts, or anyone else from outside the Liberal caucus, who might enter that party’s leadership contest.
They are gold to the opponents of proportional representation.
The critics of P.R. will surely use it as an example of how parties compromise their campaign promises in minority governments. They will point to it as an outcome that will be assured by a Yes vote in that referendum, and that will be encouraged by a new publicly-subsidized party funding model, which encourages and rewards minor parties.
Will Horgan listen and pull the plug on that component of Bill 3, at least temporarily, pending his promised independent review?
Not bloody likely.
He’s probably too “old school” for that, with no shortage of advisers and caucus cheerleaders who will be telling him not to give an inch.
Too bad. Big mistake. But that’s politics.
Real leadership would involve changing that narrative and dynamic.
Real leadership means admitting when you are wrong and correcting your mistakes. Which in the case of Bill 3, are totally fixable and should not be allowed to crush so much good work, in the eyes of so many.
Do the right thing, John.
Let the good shine by taking the spotlight off the place it doesn’t yet belong, on the issue of public political funding.
Appoint that independent review you promised and let’s get on with the other reforms your government has so admirably initiated, as promised.