Toronto Council to Vote on Corporate, Union Donations

By Ben Bull
Published December 01, 2008

Toronto City Council has another opportunity today to decide whether to allow corporate and union donations to be proffered during municipal campaigns.

City Council has voted against such donations in the past. However, until now they have not been able to enact this into law. Now that they have the legal ability to do so, it remains to be seen whether they will commit this very sensible motion into the books.

Is there anyone left who doesn't believe that corporate and union donations have an inordinate effect on political decision making? I hope not. It is, after all, only human nature to be beholden to one's benefactors. There's a reason so much concrete has been poured into Hamilton over the decades...

I've volunteered for a couple of election campaigns and events in the past and it never ceases to amaze me just how many 'ordinary' people turn up. It always makes me wonder - What influence do they think they have?

I feel the same way when I watch the American elections. Rednecks waving Republican banners as if their very freedom was at stake... As if 'their' candidate is ever going to spare them a thought once the results are in.

The truth is, and always will be, that politicians respond to consequences and rewards. If you can't afford to make a sizable donation and/or influence the votes of members of your organization towards a political representative, you'd better wait in line to get yourself heard. Make sure you take up your right spot in that line - at the back.

Here's hoping Toronto City Council does the right thing today.

Ben Bull lives in downtown Toronto. He's been working on a book of short stories for about 10 years now and hopes to be finished tomorrow. He also has a movie blog.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 01, 2008 at 11:29:44

Best of luck with this! I really hope Toronto City Council does the right thing. Maybe it will shame some other city councils into following suit - or else prod the Province to change the municipal election law.

The idea might have some traction in Hamilton, given that the mayor and some councillors won the election after (despite? because of?) rejecting corporate and union donations.

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