January 14, 2019

Campaign Finance Reform & Our Little Dark Money Problem — with John Whistler of VanGreens

In recent years, critics have accused both Liberal and NDP cabinets of rushing through inadequate electoral reforms via BC’s Local Election Campaign Financing Act, or LECFA. The most recent round of changes took effect last April, impacting the 2018 municipal elections across the province.

What were they all about? Are BC municipalities in-line with campaign financing limits and disclosure requirements at the provincial and federal levels? What is “the dark money”, and why is that still a thing in local politics?

John Whistler, financial agent for the Green Party of Vancouver, joins Gord in the studio to dig into the details of the recent changes — how they impacted candidates and voters last fall, and additional changes he’d like to see in how election campaigns are conducted in British Columbia.

Want more? In October, Gord published John’s 5-part series on “Failure and Reform: BC’s Local Elections Campaign Financing Act” — simply search for ‘LECFA’ on the blog.

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Further evidence as to the political ascendancy of a different part of our cultural mix. A younger demographic, neither left nor right.  People with media skills, energy, focus.

Oh yeah, and facing a nasty civic crisis with determination and intensity and clear political will.

Plus a message that not too long ago was the third rail, kiss of death, immediate disqualifier and prima facie proof of irrevocable electoral idiocy.

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Hot on the heels of Price Tags’ post on the basics of what CAC actually is, here’s a Vancouver civic election party promising to enable, collect and spend CAC-like proceeds in a voter-friendly way.

Yes Vancouver“Public policy changes to build the new housing we need will also create new wealth… We are going to capture part of that value for the direct benefit of the public so no one is left behind.”

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September 5, 2018

Maybe I’ve just missed seeing it. Wouldn’t be the first time.

And I always knew that Mr. Campbell was a hereditary chief of the Squamish First Nation.

But this is the first officially Vision e-mail documentation I’ve seen where Mr. Campbell uses his title this way. To me, it’s yet another welcome sign of maturity around identity in Vancouver.

I’m proud of our plan to build more, better public transit in Vancouver. . . .

Chéenchenstway – lifting each other up.


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As the 2018 civic election rolls onward, we await the list of candidates who’ve filed nomination papers with Elections BC (last chance, September 14, 4 pm).

Meanwhile, we are treated to such revealing media stunts as this: Ken Sim, NPA Mayoral candidate, on a BIKE!  In public. On the record!  And the CBC announcing that this is the first of many such rolling interviews — the Election Cycle.  And the interview may not be about bikes at all. So bikes become a positive and normal part of the world of Vancouver, including the media world.

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September 14 at 4 pm is the closing date for people to file nominations for civic positions, including Mayor and councillor, in the October, 2018 Metro Vancouver civic election. Candidates will both file a document, and, in Vancouver at least, drop off a $100 deposit, which they will get back if they play nice.

And hot on the heels of this end to trial balloons, tactical maneuvers, ill-considered enthusiasm and general no-commitment hanky-panky, the debates begin (register for free HERE):

Vancouver Mayoral Debate

  • September 17, 2018
  • 7-9 pm
  • SFU Harbour Centre, Fletcher Theatre
  • 515 W Hastings

Sponsored and organized by Business In Vancouver, Vancouver Courier and Vancouver Is Awesome.

Rumour has it (started by me) that the Fletcher Theatre is the only location with a large enough stage to hold all the candidates at one time. If a similar event goes ahead for Vancouver council candidates, it seems that organizers will have to book the hockey rink.

As of writing (August 28, 3:30 pm), we have an announced group of 7 in the debate, out of 12 currently-announced  candidates for Mayor. So even as Mario Canseco’s polling results start to winnow winners from also-rans, the debate organizers have anointed their top 7 candidates to be taken seriously.

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There is little doubt that in October 2018, Vancouver voters will put in place an almost all-rookie City Council (40 candidates now in the mix).  The winning Mayor (now 11 seekers) may be a rookie too, or may be experienced in another level of government, but not at civic level on Vancouver-related issues.

It does bring up the topic of learning curve — a substantial issue for anyone stepping into a leadership and decision-making role amid the swirl of a complex enterprise, which the City of Vancouver most certainly is.

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In October, Vancouver’s 2018 civic election will produce a Council with, at the most, 3 incumbents:

  • Adriane Carr
  • Heather Deal
  • Melissa De Genova.

Change looks like this.


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It’s almost completely an NPA news day in the upcoming 2018 Vancouver civic election.  But the party scene is getting more interesting than that alone.

As a break from these routine lists, how about this goofy and completely made-up item:

Fantasy Headline:   Independents Form Affiliation to Govern City:

There are so many people running, splitting votes into sliver-thin segments, and so many as Independents, it’s remotely possible that Independents could dominate Council and take the Mayor’s chair.  Starting with credible, well-polling mayoral candidates Shauna Sylvester and Kennedy Stewart, and continuing to seven Council candidates (so far) including Adrian Crook, Rob McDowell, and 5 others.

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