The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Fair?

The intent was to limit the direct political influence of corporations by limiting direct economic contribution to $1000 per corporation per candidate. What had been forgotten was that not all ridings begin on an equal footing, and that not all political contributions are cut from the same cloth.

Travel within the territories can be a challenge at the best of times, both in terms of cost and time. "Air travel allowances in Nunavut (where there are no roads) and the Northwest Territories (with only minimal winter roads) mean a very different thing than travel allowances within a single urban riding: which is why First Air and Canadian North had traditionally handed out four travel passes to each candidate, acknowledging the importance and fundamental fairness of every candidate being able to reach every person within their riding.

In this election, a one-size-fits-all "solution" turned out to be nothing of the kind for two northern ridings. Let's hope we can find our way to learn from this, and learn also how to bend the rules where their end effect contradicts their stated intent.

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