Occupy Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territory, November 13, 2011
Occupy Vancouver has issued a challenge to all municipal candidates to disclose the source of all contributions greater than $100 by midnight, Thursday, November 17, or be held to account by voters on Election Day.
Occupy Vancouver's General Assembly condemns the influence of corporate money on Vancouver's elections and municipal decision- making. “Corporations are effectively buying elections," says Eric Hamilton-Smith, a protester and organizer at Occupy Vancouver, "As a result of this influence, elected officials tend to create policies that benefit their financiers’ interests rather than the interests of the people who elect them into office. This is particularly problematic here in Vancouver, where big developers have contributed to an affordable housing crisis.”
According to Tristan Markle, author for The Mainlander and Occupy Vancouver organizer, “The big developers need prices to stay high in
order to ensure maximum profits. To protect these donors, the NPA and Vision will go to great lengths to maintain the unaffordable status quo.”
According to data from the Vancouver Sun , the lion's share of campaign contributions received by both the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) and Vision Vancouver come from big developers. In 2008, approximately two- thirds of campaign money raised by Vision Vancouver was from corporations, including half a million from developers. The NPA also raised half a million from developers that same year
At the November 13th 2011 General Assembly, Occupiers agreed by consensus to the following two proposals:
1. Removal of the influence of corporate contributions from municipal elections so that citizens—not corporations—are put at the forefront in municipal decision-making.
In order to achieve this, Occupiers suggest the following reforms:
• Establish limits on the amount of money candidates can spend while campaigning
• Establish limits on the amount of money any one person can donate to a candidate or political party
• Prohibit corporations and other entities from donating money to election campaigns
• Prohibit donations from non-BC residents
2. Establishment of real transparency in municipal campaign finance by requiring candidates and parties to reveal their donors and amounts before, not long after an election is over as is current practice.
Occupy Vancouver is giving all candidates until 11:59pm Thursday, November 17th to make their campaign contributions publicly available online or be held to account by voters on Saturday.
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