WAGNER: A price to pay, despite popular policy

By on September 20, 2017
B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver and NDP leader John Horgan (Black Press).


In politics, as in sport, scoring points is often easier said than done.

Which is why it is surprising that the B.C. NDP managed to wiff on campaign finance reform this week, after what amounted to a 16-year political slam dunk set up by the B.C. Liberals.

As our local Merritt Centennials are quickly learning in their young season, you can’t afford to miss opportunities to put numbers on the board.

According to an Insights West poll taken before the 2017 election, more than 70 per cent of British Columbians supported banning donations to political parties from corporations and unions. Three-quarters of residents in this province supported a ban on big ticket fundraisers, where attendees pay thousands of dollars for access to a party’s leaders.

So the solution seemed obvious — especially for the two parties which were so much more inept than the B.C. Liberals at raising corporate dollars; allow only individuals to contribute to campaigns, and set a reasonable limit on those contributions.

But as the B.C. NDP unveiled the long-promised “ban on big money,” it was like watching John Horgan in slow motion, slamming the metaphorical alley-oop through the basket only to see his hand continue travelling forward until it impacted with his own face.

“Big money” politics is certainly unpopular in B.C. — but forcing British Columbians to use their tax dollars to contribute to a rival political party might just prove to be more unpopular.

When the buzzer sounds, and this government dissolves sometime in the next few years, the missed points might be a problem for Horgan’s NDP.

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