For Immediate Release: March 16, 2012

The Coalition of Progressive Electors filed its 2011 campaign financing disclosure statement showing modest spending of $360,969 in comparison with the multi-million dollar campaigns of the other major civic parties.

COPE’s figure amounted to approximately $7.43 spent per vote. This is in stark contrast to the $28.83 per vote spent by Vision Vancouver, a number expected to be in line with spending from the NPA.

COPE External Chair RJ Aquino called the numbers obscene. “As the price of our elections trends ever upwards, the residents of Vancouver are seeing their democracy effectively purchased from them.”

Aquino said that real electoral reform must be introduced before the next civic election. He noted that COPE has already proposed that the Provincial Government amend the Vancouver Charter by imposing a $1.50 per registered voter spending limit for electoral organizations along with a per person contribution limit of $500.

“The $1.50 per voter limit is in line with Elections Canada rules and would finally restore sanity to our local democratic process,” said Aquino.

Aquino challenged the Provincial Government to stop ignoring the cross partisan calls for change that have gone back to 2005 but said that if Victoria refuses to act Vancouver should take matters into its own hands. “If the Province won’t do anything about it, it’s time Vancouver civic parties entered into a voluntary arrangement based on city by-laws.”

COPE Files Election Disclosure, Underscores Urgent Need for Electoral Reform