Monday, September 20, 2010
Here's a note being distributed today by Bay Ward councillor and candidate Alex Cullen:
Banning Corporate and Union Campaign Contributions:
Let's Put This Issue on the Municipal Election Agenda!
Dear electoral reform supporter:
Campaign contributions from corporations and unions are now banned in federal elections, provincial elections in Quebec, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, all municipal elections in Quebec, and in Toronto municipal elections.
For details on why this ban should be extended to Ontario municipal and provincial elections, and throughout the country for all elections, see Fair Vote Canada's backgrounder: Why Ban Corporate and Union Contributions in Municipal Elections? and Professor Robert MacDermid's Funding City Politics study.
Professor MacDermid's study of the 2006 elections in 10 municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area found that the portion of candidate funding from corporations, mostly in the development industry, ranged from 12% to 77% of all reported campaign contributions. In the nine municipalities other than Toronto, the average was a shocking 52%.
Last week, Fair Vote Canada released the results of a survey we sent to 474 city councilors and mayors in Ontario's 42 largest municipalities (other than Toronto, where the ban is already in place).
We asked if they supported the ban - and only 35 councillors and two mayors said yes!
While a ban requires provincial legislation, the impending municipal elections across the province provide a tremendous opportunity to make this an issue that the provincial government cannot ignore.
Can you help turn up the heat? Here are two easy steps:
- Ask local candidates, particularly at public meetings, if they support the ban.
- Write a letter to your local paper and/or call a talk show and outline why we need the ban.
You can download the Why Ban? paper and use it as a handout.
So let's get out there in the next few weeks and turn up the heat!
Yours for a strong democracy,
President, Fair Vote Canada