TORIES SLASH FUNDING
BILL 9 ELIMINATES THE ANNUAL ALLOWANCE
One of the first things that the Tory government did was eliminate the Annual Allowance for Registered Parties which will mean a loss of $63,255 annually for the Manitoba Liberal Party.
To address this loss of revenue the party has started the Builders Club, a program to encourage supporters to donate on a regular basis directly to the central party to cover the operating costs of the party. You can see how the Builders Club works in our article on it. This article explains how campaign financing legislation has evolved.
Campaign finance legislation is based on the premise that money is a significant factor in electoral success.
Legislation therefore attempts to promote financial equity and fairness primarily with respect to election campaigns. Some have referred to campaign finance legislation as legislation designed to create a level playing field.
Campaign finance legislation, in the form of The Election Financing Act (EFA), was introduced in Manitoba in 1980. It included a limit on advertising expenses and public financial support in the form of tax credit. In 1985, it was expanded to limit total election expenses, allow for reimbursement of expenses and included an audit subsidy.
Goals of the legislation include:
increasing participation in the electoral process
controlling the amounts of money which can be spent
sharing of resources so as to promote a broader range of views
public financial support (reimbursement of eligible expenses and tax credits for contributions)
Since its introduction, The EFA has continued to evolve to improve the fairness and transparency of the electoral system through the introduction of contribution limits and by enhancing public disclosure (the types of information political participants must report to Elections Manitoba).
In 2012, the EFA was rewritten in plain language to make the law more accessible to the public. Along with the re-write, the new legislation changed the way in which the annual allowance to registered parties was administered and introduced new third party legislation.
The Annual Allowance was established by an independent commission chaired by Dr. Paul Thomas. All registered parties are entitled to receive an annual allowance to assist with administrative and certain operating costs, including costs incurred in complying with this Act. Bill 9 eliminates this allowance and that means we need to make up for a loss of $63,255 in operational funds.
In short, parties can now only get funds directly from donors and from reimbursements received after an election or by-election. It means we need to put a lot more emphasis on fundraising simply to stay in operation.
With content from Elections Manitoba