Friday, February 24, 2012

Hill's Law

Clearly the clarification of election advertising going to Council next Monday is a direct result of Councillor Hill's billboards in the last civic election which he did not claim in his expenditures (SP Feb. 24/12.) He claimed it had nothing to do with his campaign but related only to a recycling program he is proposing for his ward. This may be an prime example of stretching the truth.

I would agree with Hill on his comments on the disclosure statements regarding the expense statements, that being rather than filling in one number for expenses they should be itemized. No one checks the validity of the reported dollar amount unless they are challenged. We don't really know what the expenses include or that in fact all expenses are reported.

Campaign donation are also at issue. No matter what number you pick, donors who don't want to be identified will cut the cheque for $1 less to avoid disclosure. Should all donations, large or small. be included?

He also raises the issue of incumbents using community association newsletters to promote themselves and that which they do. I don't know where you draw the line between communicating with constituents and advertising, but clearly incumbents get the edge on other candidates during an election year. Perhaps this relatively new practice should be suspended for a six month period prior to an election.

Or maybe its time for the province to set the rules through an amendment to legislation rather than having the incumbents setting the rules for themselves.

But the thing about rules, or laws, cagey people will always look for a loophole. It is those who look for loopholes that we should beware of.

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