The B.C. government took steps this week to make the province a little less Wild West, and more of a candidate to join the politically civilized world, despite the Liberal's desperate attempt to create a red herring.
My hat is off to Horgan and Weaver for their efforts to make sure BC policy will not be dictated by corporate or union interests.
The Liberals tried to raise a stink by pointing out taxpayers will have to pay a greater amount of money to support political parties. I give them points for trying to set up a red herring, but their plans backfired.
The largest part of OECD nations utilize direct public funding of parties including Britain, South Korea, Australia, France, Germany, the U.S., Chile and Japan. (per Douglas Todd's article in the Vancouver Sun). These countries do so in order to “strike a balance” between public and private financing and to reduce the risk that vested interests will indulge in “policy capture" - the tactic powerful donors used to skew politicians’ legislation to suit their monetary interests.
In BC, politicians have been exposed to the risk of corruption for years. You can't tell me that any politician who is facing some budget shortfalls wouldn't be tempted by the offer of big money from a corporation.
I can imagine how such a deal could easily be made. Can't you? Imagine a politician who's tapped into his own money and doesn't have enough in the war chest to see him through the election. Along comes a corporate lobbyist with a briefcase. The lobbyist opens the briefcase in front of the hapless politician and our poor boy's eyes nearly pop out of his head looking at a veritable fortune.
"Of course we'll fund you my fine fellow," says the Lobbyist. "There is only one teeny tiny string attached. No, really, it's almost nothing... Hardly even worth mentioning. All we need you to do is see it our way when anyone tries to protect the commons and cut in on our profits. YOU don't mind being our man for such a little thing, right?"
I'm sure everyone is much more sophisticated and nonchalant, but a bribe is a bribe, no matter how you dress it up as "just doing business".
My only real question is, "Why the hell did we wait so long to stop the fox from stealing our chickens!?