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Green Party chooses taxpayer $ over principles

I received this reply in part to my lament regarding the party supporting millions of dollars of taxpayers $ being paid out to BC political parties: It’s a well-tested way to handle the transition political parties away away from their dependence on corporate and union donations. Well I disagree that parties need this money to survive not that they deserve this money. The public is cynical about BC politics precisely because of party politics. Governing should happen in the legislature by the MLAs not from party headquarters as happens far too much of the time. I thought the Green Party was going to be a party of principles, guarding tax payers money and ridding us of petty politics. Sadly it appears that they have instead chosen some quick taxpayer cash over principles. They have chosen to operate so much like the Liberals and NDP. Sad.... I had hoped for better.

Official response from submitted

Hi Bev, thank you very much for taking the time to write to us. I appreciate the opportunity to read more about your feedback.

I completely agree that the public is cynical about BC politics – and for good reason. The scandals that we have witnessed for decades are unacceptable in a modern, accountable democracy. For me, my concern is not that the administrations of political parties are causing potential corruption, but that that potential corruption happens inside the legislature with the decision-makers who we elect. Sometimes party practices can contribute to a serious problem (such as accepting corporate and union donations), but the root of the problem is what is happening in the legislature where cabinet makes decisions under potential conflicts of interest.

I also think that political parties are really important to the healthy functioning of the Legislature and the ability of MLAs to do their jobs well. For example, we are in constant contact with our MLAs about how voters feel about their work. Your feedback, along with everyone else's, goes into weekly or sometimes daily reports that we issue for our caucus and their legislative staff. The reports are discussed and explored by our MLAs both informally through discussions with party staff and at their formal caucus meetings. We believe this is a fundamental responsibility of our party – to stay connected to voters, collect feedback (both good and bad) and communicate it constantly to our MLAs so that they stay accountable to you. Without the party, this largely wouldn't happen. This is just one of the ways that the party contributes to supporting the work of our MLAs and democracy in BC. 

I do believe that if political parties can operate without a public allowance, that is better. But to get to that point, we have to transition them off of what they currently rely on. If the government outlawed a revenue source that accounts for 50% of a business' income, I think that we would hope the government would help them get on their feet, rather than potentially crippling the goods and services they provide. I think of this transition similarly, but especially with the belief that political parties can provide very important services for our democracy.

I would love to hear more from you if you have more thoughts. They can be left in the comment section below.

Thanks for being engaged in this issue.

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  • Andrew Cooke
    commented 2017-09-24 00:24:23 -0700
    Elections should be 100% publicly funded, we should move to a donation voucher system.
  • Andrew Cooke
    tagged this with Bad 2017-09-24 00:24:22 -0700
  • Stefan Jonsson
    commented 2017-09-22 15:55:03 -0700
    Hi Bev, thanks for your reply.

    I’m sorry that you felt I wasn’t being genuine in my response. I was trying to share my sincere point of view, not spin.

    Your feedback and concerns are being passed on to our MLAs.

    Take care,
    Stefan
  • Bev kaiser
    commented 2017-09-22 09:51:36 -0700
    You state …“if political parties can operate without a public allowance, that is better. … but we have to transition them off.” You seem to be assuming that the People of BC are somehow responsible for the well being of political parties and it is our responsibility to support them – at least in transition. I believe we have absolutely no responsibility to them except to ensure they operate honestly and in the public interest of democracy. Your language is amusing…. typical media spin language – " … help them get on their feet, … rather than crippling the goods and services..". They are not victims except of their own culpability as villains in the eyes of the public. The NDP and Liberals have raked in millions of dollars from Unions, Big Business, Developers, off shore investors. Please don’t suggest they need help. If the parties spent most of their money on simply supporting their MLAs they would have lots of money. After all each MLA also has a budget. Yet too often the budget is used for party business. No, we would all be better off if the parties were solely reliant on the support of their members. That would force them to listen to their public, present a transparent face to their public and demonstrate they are working for the cause of good government not good party politics. that is a major reason the Liberals lost their majority, not because there was suddenly a massive endorsement of NDP and Green policies. We are so very aware that the game now for the Greens is to look like you are supportive of good government while trying not to make the NDP look like good governors. Well on this issue, thinking people will view the Greens as opportunistic and eager to rake in some cash while appearing to be virtuous and support the principle of no public money for parties. I think you will regret this. I for one am now cynical. I was already wary of a party which might promote public policy that was not economically sustainable but now I am cynical that the very DNA of the party is just as partisan as seeking power and money for the sake of power as the other parties. Sad, as I was looking for an alternative to the Liberals. A bit of background here. I am a retired teacher and resent the anti democratic methods of the BCTF to use teacher dues to support the executives left wing leanings and always oppose government. With my money. I see this latest move by Greens as much the same.
  • Jordan Ellis
    commented 2017-09-22 00:05:22 -0700
  • Stefan Jonsson
    responded with submitted 2017-09-21 16:40:24 -0700
  • Brian Farwell
    commented 2017-09-21 13:27:55 -0700
    No to tax payer “transition” funding. Precident setting – never ending.
  • Brian Farwell
    tagged this with Bad 2017-09-21 13:27:54 -0700
  • Robert Tritschler
    commented 2017-09-21 13:23:57 -0700
    less TV propaganda and mudslinging, that is all good!
  • Robert Tritschler
    tagged this with Good 2017-09-21 13:23:56 -0700
  • Bev kaiser
    published this page in Ban big money bill 2017-09-20 23:58:13 -0700
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