For NPA and Vision Vancouver, transparency won't extend to disclosing donations before voting day

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A week ago, I wrote a column challenging NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe to release financial donations within a week of the money coming in.

This would be easy to do in our modern electronic age.

Keep in mind that LaPointe has made transparency a central pillar of his campaign.

But a week later, lo and behold, there's no promise about disclosing who's writing the cheques to finance his campaign.

Transparency indeed!

To follow up on the column, I posted an online survey on Straight.com asking the following question:

Should municipal political parties publicly disclose financial donations on a website within a week of them being received?

Today when I checked, 93 percent of respondents had answered "yes".

So there you have it, folks. The public wants political parties to reveal who's paying the bills before voting day on November 15.

But the parties themselves likely won't open their books until 120 days after voting day because that's what's required under the law.

I'll close with a comment by a person calling himself Nelson100, which appeared below my last article. I suspect that Nelson100 isn't alone with this sentiment.

We know who is financing the Vision and NPA campaigns, the development industry. The previous election's record breaking expenditures were simply two opposing groups of developers trying to win control of rezoning giveaways. The best thing Vancouver voters can do next election is throw both of them out of office.

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4 Comments

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mark A

Jul 31, 2014 at 3:10pm

If the campaigns were to release the names of the people who made donations then it could be said that the candidate could possibly be beholden to those parties that donated.
As it stands now, the candidates are not given any financial information as to who the donors are and how much has been given. The information is released after the election to avoid any hint of influence buying.
I am personally going to give the NPA $5000.00 and it will be revealed after the election - I just want an honest government to run the city of Vancouver, the Vancouver that I have lived in for my 61 years.
BTW, I am white,union member,not angry,gay and live on the east side of town.

Elliott Taylor

Jul 31, 2014 at 4:29pm

If current campaign donation information is not going to be made available then go with the best data on hand. Go with the record of who gave what in the last election.

17 9 Rating: +8

Wigwam

Aug 1, 2014 at 7:51am

Any donation I make to a political party is my private business and not the general publics. Maybe Charlie smith doesn't care about his personal privacy but I sure do.
If it's a personal donation then it should be kept private and confidential. It's none of the general publics business who I align my self with politically.

8 5 Rating: +3

@CharlieSmith

Aug 1, 2014 at 12:24pm

Ugh, unfortunately I have to go with the status quo here. All the parties have been collecting donations from people with the assumption of privacy. And reporting something like this within a week would be a real burden for the smaller parties. Maybe you could advocate mandatory reporting for over $999 by individual and everything by corporations? That seems like it would have the result you're looking for.

6 5 Rating: +1

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