EDITORIAL: Election reform needs balance

Financial changes could prevent some people from running for elected office

The NDP government has initiated changes to how municipal, school board and regional district elections are funded, and while the goal is more transparency, they could have a negative impact on the democratic process.

The legislation would ban corporate and union donations, put limits on individual contributions and ban out-of-province donations.

Contributions for the election campaign of a candidate or elector organization will be limited to $1,200 per donor per year.

The implications in small towns like Lumby or Enderby are likely minimal as most candidates self-fund their campaigns or get donations from individual friends or family, but in communities even the size of Vernon, corporate and union contributions are common.

Obviously some will be suspicious of contributions from businesses and unions and the possible expectations they have of candidates they endorse, but accepting money doesn’t necessarily mean you fall into lock-step with the views of your donor.

There is also the reality that running for public office isn’t cheap. There is a variety of expenses, including advertising, signs, Internet promotions and possibly opening a campaign office. Unless the candidate is independently wealthy, the prospect of serving your community can be financially daunting. And yet, a community can benefit by having leaders with a variety of backgrounds.

The NDP has the best of intentions, but there needs to be a balance between transparency and ensuring a broad-spectrum of society represents the public.

Just Posted

Gallery celebrates long history of art appreciation

Gallery Odin, at Silver Star Mountain, is gearing up to open their 16th annual Winter Exhibition

Traffic stopped on Highway 97B due to crash

The incident took place south of Mellors Store.

Comedian/magician visiting Lake Country

Wes Barker is performing at Creekside Theatre, Nov. 25

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Nasty note on windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Drones used in search for clues about missing women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Panthers advance; Maroons fall to Dukes

The Vernon Panthers are moving to the B.C. Subway Bowl semifinals, while the Fulton Maroons are done

WATCH: Thousands gathering in Abbotsford for Const. John Davidson funeral procession

Celebration of life to follow at Abbotsford Centre at 1 p.m.

Back-to-back wins for the Vees this weekend

Penticton Vees take down Capitals 10-1

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Most Read