We read reports describing how the NDP is funding party president Moe Sihota’s stipend with contributions from unions, particularly two large ones in BC: CUPE and USW. It is news, though neither major nor surprising news, that organized labor donated cash to the NDP for a specified purpose. It is not scandalous.
I could point to many individual business people, associations and companies that each have given far more than $30,000 to BC Liberals, while at the same time seeking or doing business with government. Additionally, one could easily argue that union members’ interests are served by supporting a political party that favors employee rights. Union officers decide to spend members’ money in much the same way as corporate officers spend shareholders’ money.
What makes one story more significant than another? Liberals should not criticize union donations to the NDP. If the governing party were against such donations in principle, they would not be accepting millions each year from the business lobby, particularly when many of those represented are multi-national companies with limited and temporary interests in British Columbia.
There is not a single MLA who goes without a salary for that political position and most will earn handsome pensions too, while continuing regular occupations. Moe Sihota, I’m told, put his law practice on hold to work for some period of time to reorganize the NDP. It is reasonable for the party to pay a salary according to its established financial practices.
Reporting energy could be well spent examining the money contributed to BC Liberals by companies associated with David Ho, the Vancouver billionaire who was charged in 2009 with gun, drug and confinement CHARGES. Recent payments to the Liberals totaled at least $185,348. Does this financial relationship have anything to do with how Ho’s criminal charges are being handled, or not handled? The last public release on this case was given over a year ago. Certainly, it would be a story if members of Abbotsford’s Bacon Family contributed large sums to the government party while facing the courts.