Many democratic systems place spending limits and candidates and have a requirement for candidates to publicly report their campaign spending. Is it time for the UNA to do the same? I think so. Last year we tried to introduce a campaign spending limit on candidates but because we waited to long to begin the process we had to withdraw the proposal and revert to a status quo model. There was no election (all candidates won their seats by acclimation) so ultimately there was no issue.
I would like to suggest that the UN consider the follow sort of campaign spending limits:
Using the guiding principles of equity in accessing members, the UNA will apply the following campaign spending limits:Campaigning spending is limited to $500 per candidate.Candidates may pool their campaign funds if they choose. However, the intention to pool funds must be declared in advance of a candidate’s first campaign expenditure irrespective of whether the candidate has submitted nomination papers.Gifts of professional services and products (including, but not limited to, art and design, legal advice, printing, paper, webpage design, etc.) must be included in the campaign limit at full market value.Volunteer canvassers and campaign support time are not considered an election expense.A full financial report of all campaign expenditures, including itemized expenses and a list of campaign contributors stating whether they contributed cash, goods or professional services must be submitted within 45 days of the AGM. There will be full public disclosure of these financial documents.
What do you think? Does it make sense to publicly disclose campaign spending and to place reasonable limits upon how much money candidates spend?