Election reform

Last week, the provincial government finally promised some reforms which will be in place in November, 2014.

After the anonymous advertisements, polarization and vitriolic comments which defined the 2008 municipal election and its aftermath, it was evident that electoral changes were needed.

Last week, the provincial government finally promised some reforms which will be in place in November, 2014, when British Columbians next elect municipal governments.

The changes will affect third-party advertising, disclosure statements, anonymous contributions and election advertising.

Such measures will help to prevent the confusion seen in the 2008 election. At that time, questions were raised whether the candidates named in the advertisements had been involved in getting the ads circulated.

When an advertisement is clearly marked to identify who has paid for it and who is endorsing it, important questions are immediately answered.

When the one advertising must include his or her name on the ad, the tone will change. Under the cloak of anonymity, it is possible to take a position much more extreme than if the same message bore attribution.

If anonymous ads had not been allowed in 2008, the tone of the campaign may have been more subdued.

While the changes will improve future municipal elections, some questions remain.

Around the province, the 2008 elections showed the problems and shortcomings in the regulations. Why has it taken so many years for the province to address these problems?

More importantly, when online venues such as websites, blogs, forums and social media sites are readily available, will it be possible to stop anonymous third-party advertising altogether?

The changes in the coming legislation are badly needed, but they will not fully stop the flaws which have been shown in past elections.


Just Posted

Young PIB man skips jail time for grad party assault

Aaron Jack-Kroeger was sentenced to a 15-month conditional sentence in Penticton’s courthouse

Vernon Search & Rescue find lost snowmobiler

Male, 19, went missing in Hunter’s Range area near Enderby

New development in missing plane near Revelstoke

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

Honesty turns to harsher jail sentence for Penticton man

Jakob Holmes kicked a cop in the face while she was on the ground after she attempted to arrest him

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs petition

Local governments on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Angels at The Mule

Penticton nightclub introduces angel shots for safety

Dryer explosion at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read