Doors still open to municipal corruption.

If virtue is its own reward, what is the reward for hypocrisy? And what does it mean when municipal politicians tell you that there will be no more corruption when they ban corporate and union donations? What problems does that solve?

What is the point when the most important contributions to campaigns are not recognized as being of value? These contributions can create literature, develop campaign strategies, plan and prepare speeches and create a persona for a candidate that might be far from reality. When companies, unions, and community organizations decide to support a candidate, how does the voter separate the truth from the image that has been created? And what is the value of the campaign work ‘contributed’ at the urging of the employer or union? That is the hypocrisy of municipal politicians not accepting money from corporations and unions.

What is more serious is continuing to allow candidates to self-finance their campaigns? Why have no limits been set in Ontario on what municipal candidates can spend? Do we only want the rich to control our municipalities?

But there are still so many ways around the rules. Developers who really want the support of city councillors can find many routes for their donations to reach the intended candidate. There are many pressure points.

And yet the Ontario government keeps polishing their buttons on their pledges to end possible corruption in provincial and municipal politics. The only problem is that the people who really know how the system works are never asked to help solve the problems. It is the people skilled in running political campaigns who know the work-arounds, the loopholes, the opportunities to make things happen.

Instead it is the politicians themselves who make the decisions and it is the academics who pontificate on the process. The apparatchiks who make things happen are kept hidden from the light of day.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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