This week, Equal Voice launched the iCommit Campaign, a peer driven initiative which asks young women ranging in age from 18 to 25 to commit to vote in this federal election – and beyond.
“Equal Voice aims to ignite in young women a life-long commitment to politics, a commitment which begins by casting a ballot on May 2nd, 2011,” said Nancy Peckford, Executive Director for Equal Voice Continue reading
The Provincial Government has appointed a Local Government Elections Task Force to review the regulations governing local elections.
The existing regulations governing local elections are out of date and have minimal financial controls. The current situation gives advantages to special interest groups, can influence who gets elected and corrupts politicians. For most BC municipal elections the real estate industry is the major campaign donor. This favours the election of politicians who support the interests of the real estate industry which may not be in the best interests of the local residents.
The Provincial Government needs to look to the existing Federal Government electoral regulations as a model for municipal regulations. Best practices from the Federal regulations include:
- Only individuals can donate to campaigns. Corporations, Unions and non government organizations cannot donate. Corporations or other organizations donate to campaigns in order to influence politicians to support their interests. It is no coincidence that local politicians control land use zoning and that the real estate industry is the largest donors to local elections. At this time the dominant political parties in Vancouver (Vision and the NPA) are supported heavily by the real estate industry. Support from the real estate industry is almost a requirement to obtain a nomination from either Vision or the NPA and to be elected in Vancouver. Similarly, COPE is heavily supported by local Unions and Union support is needed to obtain a COPE nomination and to be elected. This corrupts politicians who remember their respective supporters when voting on land use decisions or during labour negotiations.