If this were in Russia or China or the Balkans or some developing-world country, it would just be written off as nepotism or corruption, but here [in British Columbia], because it’s not illegal, it seems to just get a pass.
It’s been a fortnight since the New York Times (external - login to view) carried the story. The author, Dan Levin, told Global News (external - login to view):
Corporate and union donations to political parties are banned in Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario, but not in British Columbia. NDP MLA David Eby believes the corruption runs much deeper than the $50,000-a-year “commission” Premier Clark has been receiving from her party’s campaign chest. In the firestorm of criticism following the Times story, she has swapped her stipend for what is potentially an equally rich expense account, but the issue remains: The rich and connected appear to run British Columbia
We seem to be getting further and further away from the idea that citizens can directly influence government through traditional democratic avenues, whether it’s writing a letter or through a protest, or talking to a politician. We are shifting towards a model where the people who get access to the Premier, to the cabinet, to decisions makers are lobbyists and political donors,” Eby told me in a recent interview.
“The government recently passed legislation allowing unlimited spending until the 30-day-writ period. Previously there had been a restriction on that spending.”
“I couldn’t get my head around why this is happening until we got the results from my conflict of interests complaint and that indicated that the Premier receives a very significant personal benefit from the existing system. She gets $50,000 from the Liberal party of BC, which comes from pooled political donations to that party. So she has a $50,000 incentive, each year, to not change the system. A change in the system would mean she would not have the money to take home because the Liberal party would not have as much money.”
Dermod Travis, executive director of the public watchdog group IntegrityBC, told the New York Times (external - login to view), “When anyone anywhere in the world can donate as much as they want to the system, you have an even bigger threat to the system…What it says to people is money talks and votes don’t.”
More so because, according to a recent article in........ How rich elites took over BC...and the Liberals welcomed them -The Common Sense CanadianThe Common Sense Canadian (external - login to view)