Don’t hate the player, hate the game


Seven candidates from the Liberal leadership race in 2006 still have campaign debts. Alice Funke thinks the system needs to change.

It is in the public interest that political parties be able to attract a wide range of potential candidates during a leadership race, and that viable candidates not be dissuaded from running for fear they will be unable to pay their debts later on, or be subjected to potentially corrosive pressures in order to do so.

Thus, I urge Parliament to consider amending s.405(1)(c) of the Elections Act, at the first opportunity, to change the leadership campaign contribution ceiling from a per-contest one into an annual one, and I also urge the various political parties who will be launching leadership contests over the coming months and years to set rules and spending limits that don’t force candidates into impossible situations after the fact.


Don’t hate the player, hate the game

  1. “It is in the public interest that political parties be able to
    attract a wide range of potential candidates during a leadership race”

    I’m still not convinced that it’s in the public interest to have political parties.

  2. So what is to happen to the Liberals since it seems they’ve collected almost $1 million dollars in what now appear to be illegal campaign contributions?

    Martha Hall Findlay $115,000
    Gerard Kennedy $108,302
    Joe Volpe $110,090
    Ken Dryden $354,121
    Maurizio Bevilacqua $33,164
    Stéphane Dion (based on Dec 2010 report) $30,000
    Hedy Fry (based on Dec. 2010 report) $77,500
    Estimated total: $828,177

    Let’s face it. Dryden, MHF, Kennedy and Volpe aren’t even MPs anymore. Yes, Dryden has until June 2012 for his larger debt load, but come on…these 4 alone account for almost $700K. They can extend deadlines until the cows come home but there is no realistic possibility of these ever being paid back.

    The rules of leadership contests state that if not paid back, these loans become donations to the party…which means they were made illegally because they exceed the $1,100 maximum.

    Will Elections Canada demand that this money be returned from the Party? (snort)
    Will Elections Canada charge the Liberals with what looks to be a gross violation of election campaign finance laws? (double-snort)
    Will Aaron Wherry or any other media outlet other than Sun News ever touch this story again…I mean, other than Wherry’s pathetic attempt here to point out opinions which blame the system rather than those who committed the offences? (triple-snort)

    • Put your money where your mouth is and sue.  We’ll see if your interpretation, that these loans become illegal because they suddenly become donations, stands.  As far as I know, they remain a debt.  Should one of these pooliticians die, does the lender not have a right to get their money back from the estate ?

      • You need standing to sue.  It’s up to Elections Canada and the courts.  As far as the law is concerned, it’s crystal clear, and it indicates that a loan that is not paid back is counted as a campaign contribution (obviously, because it is a campaign contribution in that case).

  3. I see.
    When the Conservatives are in a dispute over elections law, it’s time to take them to court. 
    When the Liberals are in clear violation of elections law, it’s time to change the law.  
    How convenient.

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