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As of Monday, March 21, 2016
What measures would you introduce to reform campaign finance?
Leave your answers in the comments section below . . .
Comrades at Tribune shouldn't the big question be on MP's & Senators - What Would You Do With MP's & senators and applicable government officials - who will not have filed ALL their financial disclosure statements, by the March 2016 deadline - should they be publicly exposed, charged and if found guilty - sent to jail for the maximum of 2 years up at Fox Hill Prison?
exactly. it starts with enforcing the laws on the books. Whoever does not disclose can not participate, does not get the car plate, none of the goodies, not getting paid. It is fairly simple and easy to execute. That is something that should be done today and not tomorrow.
probably officers of political parties represented in the Parliament should be subjected to disclosure as well as well as the officers of recognized Unions.
The key feature that is lacking from campaign finance in The Bahamas is transparency. The amounts given must be gazetted. There should also be a cap of $500,000 from any one doner. Perhaps, of even more importance to our democracy is term limits. A two term maximum must be imposed.
Comrade Bahamapundit maximum donation from Bahamaland's citizens only be maxed out at $1000 over any 5 year general or by election cycle.
No freebies allowed - all must be charged to the campaigns.
Within 90 days of the close of any campaign - audited campaign financial statements must be filed with the register of elections.
Equal guest show appearances extended to all candidates on all talk and TV shows.
Regardless of a candidates personal deep money pockets or their respective political party's -all campaigns maxed -out at $40,000.
Get the FBI to investigate all banks accounts starting from 2011 and then do a reconciliation to 2016. Start with Ministers of Housing , Works and Environment. Only because there's a lot of contract activity in those ministries.
Put a cap on the amount any given candidate and party can spend. Publicly disclose all political donations by amount and person donating. If donated by a company, who owns that company should be of public record. No person or group may donate over a certain amount. Whoever is the government of The Bahamas must know they represent ALL Bahamians not just their set of Bahamians. If there is not fair and balanced governing, this country will never succeed in becoming the great nation it can be. So far we have yet to understand or practice fair and balanced governing that works for ALL Bahamians.
Limit how much can be spent. Accept no money donations from clients that leaders had contracts with who are profiting stakeholders in proposed or debated legislation. Ie: if stem cells is up for talks, and Christie or Davis offered legal services to Nygard's business before, Nygard cannot donate. If Christie ir Davis were consultants for BPC whilst they were soliciting drilling, BPC should not have donated. Or the alternative would be to have complete transparency on all business donors so that any bribery or arising conflict of interest could be analyzed , and limiting individual donation amounts. Elections really don't need to be wasteful. If sponsors want to fund party projects , no reason why those donations and project cost can't be fully disclosed. Any known violations should be deducted from next terms campaign allowance.
No transactions from private banks.
Audit rumors of $600 counterfeit dollars given.
As you know "campaign finance reform " is a term associated with US elections and while the effort to limit, record, expose and control the amount that individuals, organizations and companies can contribute to political campaigns, very little has been don over the past one hundred years to reform campaign finance in the US. The major problems are that there are so many side doors and back doors to finance campaigns putting strict and specific controls in place only opens doors to more campaign finance abuse. For example an entity like The Tribune can contribute to a political campaign without one single dollar exchanging hands. Because of the power of the pen it can either favor or disfavor any candidate in an election. Or in the current case of Louis Bacon who can use sponsored not for profit companies to do the same thing. Or in the case of Donald Trump who may have so much assets and resources, jets and buildings and employees and access to and influence in the media, how do you limit his self sponsoring and put him on an equal footing with a candidate who is employed and earns $100,000 a year? Campaign finance reform will be like the quieting titles act: it will be talked about and pushed from here to there and touted as something urgently needed. But few a politician, if any is going to support reforms that will limit his chances of being elected. Likewise for his party. So the corruption will continue.
unfortunately, you have a point there (actually many...).
In the US, one strategy to control and discourage persons from running for political office is to file many lawsuits against them. These lawsuits usually cripple the candidate financially trying to defend them or make them appear unfit for office. Usually the lawsuits fall off after the person withdraws from the election. In the case of President Barak Obama he has many lawsuits pending a number of which will be withdrawn after his term in office expires. In the case of the Bahamas a high profile resident and a QC and their affiliate companies have filed an unprecedented number of lawsuits over the past few years. In fact one politician recently commented that "the only person they ain't due yet is dry ma, and that's probably because she dead."
Let every donor to every political party or candidate be made public via law requiring full disclosure of all accounts of the party and/or candidates
Make "superpacs" (special interest donor organizations) illegal in The Bahamian political system
make donations from foreign persons, governments or organizations illegal
Make every government-issued contract available for public knowledge with the contractor accountable to the Auditor-General's Department for every dollar (no kickbacks)
Ensure that every candidate running in the election have a minimum amount of campaign money available ($20,000) via the Treasury ............ place the ceiling on every candidate at $100,000 ........... this money, if not properly accounted for, should be returned to the Treasury within 21 days of the election date ..... this may be left open as an option for candidates who may or may not wish to use the government funds.
Ensure that every candidate's financial reports are properly disclosed and vetted before and after an election ......... and enforce the Public Disclosure Act on every Cabinet Minister
Comrades if history is to be our guide, the next Bahamaland government will not have it in their DNA to vote for a public financing law limiting the dollar amount of individual political donations - much less prohibit corporate and foreign donations.
Nearly every cell in a PLP and red shirts politician, including Branville McCartney's, bodies have the same DNA make up when it comes offering pie-in-the-skies campaign promises for change - that is until they control the powerful governing instruments.
You might want to opt for a simplierr but permanent FIX. Disconnect your mindsets from voting for either of these three political parties election candidates.
Comrades can I hear an Amen, hallelujah Jesus for bringing back - Comrade Constituents,
can you please spare a dollar for a brother's or sister's election campaign to represent you and your family's best interests - not some political party's, cabinet, PM's or money bags best interests.
I agree with Tal. The ability to derive millions of dollars in political donations with no paperwork, no reporting, no financial statements, no accountability is too much for any government to enact legislation to stop.
While the political parties take in millions of dollars, poor Bahamians and Bahamian businesses need to pay VAT, real property tax, business license fees, customs, stamp tax, national insurance and shortly national health insurance. Also businesses need to prepare audited financial statements and submit them to to government just to operate. Political parties pay non of these taxes on donations received.
We as Bahamians are fools to put up it.
Meanwhile the Minister of Education is so busy talking politics he has no time to address the D average of most government school students.
Worst of all we will go to the polls in 2017 and put them (FNM or PLP or DNA) back in power.
While Pintard has resigned just wait and see the new "has been" politician with a lot of "baggage" that Minnis puts in his place. Nothing will change, just the actors.
Comrade Observer 2, before the day is out Her Excellency the Governor-General will appoint the red shirts Chippie as offical opposition leader.
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