PRESS RELEASE: Increased Fundraising Ability in C-23 a Potential Harm to Democracy

While issues concerning the elimination of vouching have been discussed at length it is not the most damaging change proposed in Bill C-23. Several of the provisions of C-23 would greatly increase how much money parties can fundraise. As events south of the border demonstrate the infusion of greater funds into elections does not lead to better democracy but instead provides a constant distraction to parties and elected representatives.

In the US Congress new representatives are instructed to devote at least four hours every day to fundraising. That is twice the amount of time they are instructed to put towards committee hearings, floor votes, or meetings with constituents. While Canada has not embraced the near-limitless fundraising common in the United States C-23 moves us towards it. How will this effect Canadians? For starters an increase in how much a party can raise and spend also increases how much money a party needs to win. This in turn increases the time a party and its candidates need to devote to fundraising. This leaves less time and energy for the development and examination of policy. The end result being a lower quality of representation in Ottawa.

“Interestingly the statistics Conservatives quote seem to support there being no need to raise the donation cap. On Thursday at a Senate hearing regarding C-23 Senator Donald Plett noted that the average donation by a Conservative Party donor was a mere $99/donor. If the average Conservative donor, and indeed the average Canadian, donates well below the cap is that not an argument for lowering the donation cap rather than raising it? It seems to me that keeping the cap closer to what the average Canadian can donate keeps any one group from having too much influence on our democratic system”, says James Wilson, Leader of the Pirate Party of Canada. “There are several highly questionable parts of C-23, it is unfortunate that debate seems to be highly focused around the vouching issue.” The Pirate Party requests that the parties in Parliament think carefully whether they actually need the added fundraising revenue and whether it is worth the potential consequences.

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>>>Pourquoi le Parti Pirate?<<<

Why Pirate Party?

1. Open Democracy

One of our main founding principles was Open Government. This means an Open Data policy with proactive disclosure and free access to government data. This will allow anyone to scrutinize and catch any error, negligence or corruption early on. Open Government also means increased transparency, and giving constituents real voices. This can be achieved with electoral reform .

2. Mincome / Basic Income Guarantee (B.I.G.)

Unemployment and income inequality is on the rise and we risk a breakdown of social cohesion without a system for resource distribution as we face increased automation. We're shifting from a bureaucratic culture of constant work-demands to a culture of passion, joy, and learning for the sake of learning.

Mincome will lead to cost savings and create a sustainable economy. See our press release for how that can be achieved.

3. Autonomy and Decentralization

We believe that the world works best when individuals are making informed decisions. It is our goal to get all information to all people, so they may be more informed voters, consumers, participants, and teachers. We do not need to force information culture & the hacker ethic onto people we can simply allow them to choose access. We believe the right to choose our identity, name, and appearance is inalienable.

4. Copyright and Patent Reform
Copyright and patent's main purpose was for propagation of culture and innovation. Our current copyright and patent laws are continuously being corrupted due to lobbying by copyright and patent monopolist. These monopolist refuses to innovate and provide wider access and pass on the savings from the new lower distribution cost. Instead the copyright and patent terms keeps getting extended to benefit the few to the detriment of the public interest. The opposite should happen. Copyright and patent terms should be shortened since our new information infrastructure (i.e. the internet) have brought us cheaper and faster means of distributing media contents and information. Mandatory licensing, owner's rights to a non-DRM product, open access to research data and shorter copyright term are some of the natural changes that is needed if we want to create a more open and progressive society. This will ensure future artist and innovator are not hampered by patent and copyright gatekeepers who uses rent seeking law for anti-competitive purposes.

Human beings increasingly have a moral duty to share information with one another. Libraries are stuck in the last century, enforcing artificial scarcity on digital content. If libraries were upgraded for the modern age, we would no longer need filesharing. And let's face it, watching and listening to whatever you want to is fun. It breaks down arbitrary global borders of access and creates a global culture defined by people- not by corporations.

At the Pirate Party- we believe more information leads to better decisions. We believe that more voices leads to better compromises. We believe in Canadians.

Our democracy need a serious upgrade and Pirate Party aims to change politics to the way it should be.