EDITORIAL: Anarchy in B.C.

ElectionsBC has launched an investigation into whether the donors to B.C.’s two main political parties have been breaking the rules.

The allegations come from a damning investigative report by the Globe and Mail in which lobbyists admitted they donated thousands of dollars to the party only to be reimbursed by their industry clients. The Elections Act expressly forbids indirect donations.

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Among those quoted about engaging in the practice was Byng Giraud, vice-president of corporate affairs for Woodfibre LNG.

B.C. is already unique in Canada, and not in a good way, for an almost total absence of rules governing donations and election spending. It’s an embarrassment.

When confronted by critics, the press or even just average citizens, the Liberals predictably responded that they are fully transparent about who their financial backers are, posting them in “real time” for all to see.

Ignoring for a moment that the one rule in place to make sure this is true is possibly being flouted, this defence still misses the point – as if the antidote to poison is full disclosure that you’re being poisoned.

There is far too much money being sloshed around to sway our elections.

The lobbyists themselves say they’re sick of being constantly hit up for cash, the Globe reports, and that it amounts to “pay for play.”

The lack of regulations is eroding faith in our system and sullying our political discourse.

Alas, the only group who can restore that faith is our governing party.

Unfortunately, they’re too busy grazing at their donors’ trough to hear the cries for some common sense.

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