VICTORIA, B.C. - The B.C. Greens introduced an amendment today to make the Elections Amendment Act, 2017 more equitable for small parties. The amendment would bring the threshold to receive campaign reimbursements for province-wide popular vote down to 5% from the currently proposed 10%.
“Our core goal with this legislation has been to ensure that people, not special interests, are what drive political campaigns in in this province,” said Adam Olsen, B.C. Green Party spokesperson for campaign finance.
“Yesterday the government introduced two amendments that we had brought forward to increase transparency and reduce the influence of big money already in the system. Today, I am proud to be introducing another amendment that will create a more fair playing field for smaller parties.
“Small parties that represent the views of at least 1 in 20 British Columbians should have the same benefits as larger parties. We look forward to a productive debate with our colleagues on both sides of the house regarding the merits of this amendment.”
As part of its commitment to advance good public policy that is based on evidence, this amendment is based on best practices from across Canada. It is also predicated the 2016 OECD report, Financing Democracy, which found that purely private systems have a corrosive effect on democracy, and that healthy democracies strike a balance between public and private funding, with 33 of 34 other OECD countries having some form of public funding. Partial campaign reimbursements for political parties are done at the federal level in Canada, as well as in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Reimbursements at the riding level are done federally, as well as in Newfoundland, PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.