One coin has two sides

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.

Categories: Journalism, NDP BC

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9 replies »

  1. I never thought of it that way, but once again you have raised some very good points.
    And thanks for reminding me about David Ho, I'll use that one in future arguments.

    Guy in Victoria


  2. BC's mainstream reporters and pundits have trouble drawing lines between one event and another if BC Liberals are involved. Mr. Ho does business through many corporations but we only see donations included if he is reported as a Principal Officer. There may be other donations associated with Mr. Ho's interests.


  3. I think Sean goes where he can based on information that he is able to gather. Remember that people send messages through the media, especially if they don't want to speak out in public. It is only a guess, but I imagine the NDP dissidents have been leaking information to Sean because he is widely read by Victoria politicians.

    I believe that if Public Eye receives information worth publishing, it will get published, regardless of which party it involves. We judge fairness and balance over time, not in a short term. During another month, someone else will get uncomfortable about the material being written in Public Eye.

    However, that doesn't mean we can't disagree and I've made my position known to Sean about the union funding Sihota payments. At least I know he listens. One could say that good political writers catch leaks from all the buckets that leak.


  4. With fascism reigning supreme in BC, what else you gonna do? Campbell quit playing by the rules years ago and has given every working stiff the finger and kicked the elderly, sick and young to the curb.

    Who cares how the NDP gets their money, and anyone who speaks out against it is just an evil doer (Lib) supporter.


  5. Corruption and greed, is what governs. What political party would, stomp out corruption? I have never heard, a political party make such a statement, in my entire life. I watched the House of Commons on TV. There was a motion passed, by the entire House…To give, banks, mines, big business, gas and oil company's, millions and millions of our tax dollars. They get huge tax reductions. And as big businesses, are bottomless pits of greed. They all lined up at the trough, and squealed for the HST as well. Big business, has big bucks, to pay the political party that favors them the most. Big business, governs this entire country, and it shows.


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