Let’s Ban Big Money and Dramatically Improve Democracy in BC

Dear Friends,

We are committed to strengthening our democracy here in British Columbia. New Democrats believe that it is time for a system that works for everyone, and we have introduced a suite of new legislation that will achieve just that.

We have all seen just how broken the current system is under Christy Clark. We have seen the BC Liberals hide information from the public, choose their wealthy donors’ interests over the public interest and routinely ignore their duty to the public in favour of fundraising. Christy Clark’s government has created scandal after scandal, and we believe that it is time for a change.

This week John Horgan brought forward legislation that would get big money out of politics, introducing the bill on behalf of the New Democrats for the sixth time since 2005. This bill will place limits on personal donations, and ban union and corporate donations as well as out of province donations, ensuring that the only people funding political parties are the people of British Columbia.  In addition, the bill will put an end to any stipends or salary “top-ups” from political parties to the premier or any member of cabinet.

In addition to this bill, I and several of my colleagues introduced a total of thirteen bills aimed at making elections fairer, making government more transparent and accountable, and protecting the free speech and workplace rights of citizens in BC. This comprehensive package of legislation also complements John Horgan’s promise to allow British Columbians to decide if they want a system of proportional representation.

These bills achieve a multitude of goals. The suite of seven bills that I personally introduced include: banning government (i.e., taxpayer) funded partisan advertising prior to the election, reinstating limits on pre-election political spending, moving the election date from May to October to allow better budget scrutiny, strengthening conflict of interest rules for public office holders and their senior advisors, making fall and spring sessions of the legislature mandatory, empowering legislative committees, and modernizing our participation in our democratic system by accepting electronic petitions in the legislature.

My colleagues also introduced six other bills aimed at increasing youth participation in elections, increasing fairness in local elections, making public record keeping more transparent and accountable, reforming the lobbyist registry, discouraging lawsuits that restrict public participation, and protecting whistleblowers.

These thirteen bills, in conjunction with John Horgan’s bill to get big money out of politics and commitment to allow a vote on proportional representation, demonstrate our commitment to reforming and improving the democratic system in BC.

I encourage you to read more about our democratic reform legislation here.

Yours sincerely,

 

Gary Holman
MLA for Saanich North and the Islands
Official Opposition Spokesperson for Democratic Reform