Peddling Influence In Municipal Government – Civic Politicians and Vancouver’s RE Industry

In March 2011 we calculated that Christy Clark received more than 50% of her campaign funds for the race for the leadership of the BC Liberal Party from RE-related industry.

Now, at the Municipal level:

“In this case, the money speaks a lot. If you look across the range of contributions and you try to group them broadly, the property development and construction business is the largest collective group of contributors.” – Patrick Smith, political science professor, SFU
– from ‘Running Against Developers in Condolandia’, Ben Christopher, The Tyee, 9 Nov 2011
[hat-tip ‘Jeff Murdock’]

“It’s clear that Vision Vancouver and NPA received a lot of funding from development companies during the last election.” – Nicole Benson, Candidate, Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver (NSV)
The Tyee, 9 Nov 2011

“Both main parties are completely beholden to real estate developers, more so than any time in the city’s history. This isn’t good and I have to wonder just how much monied backslapping and handshaking is going on. This is how the BC Liberal Party imploded, by allowing their donors and top, most accommodative friends unfettered access to the keys of the province: No door was off-limits, no industry remained unmolested–friends and insiders ravished them all.
Well, look for Vision’s attempts to destroy the viaducts to be one such example. The developers with the most to gain are Vision’s biggest corporate cheque writers…that’s if you don’t count the American money of unknown origin, pouring in from the radical, left-wing Tides Foundation.
And this isn’t an issue for the NPA to raise? Of course it is, but they can’t, seeing as though the same monsters, who buy favour, are writing them cheques as well.”

Alex Tsakumis, on his blog ‘Rebel With a Clause’, 7 Nov 2011
[hat-tip ‘Nemesis’]

“Vision’s executive director, Ian Baillie, insists that there is no quid pro quo relationship between campaign donors to his party and the candidates they support.”
The Tyee, 9 Nov 2011
[Don’t you love it when these guys say this with a straight face?
Why would companies possibly give money to politicians if they didn’t want to curry favour?
What else could possibly be on their minds?
– vreaa

9 responses to “Peddling Influence In Municipal Government – Civic Politicians and Vancouver’s RE Industry

  1. “What else could possibly be on their minds?”…

    Don’t you just love it when ‘life imitates art’… In the MovieBiz it’s called ‘PayToPlay’… and strangely, in politics…

  2. City politics has so many analogies, tragically, to a pig farm: lots of sh!t and pork. And the smell… the smell.

    (I once met an interventionalist from China who worked on animal trials in the US. She commented that she can’t eat pork any more. It’s the smell, she said. This naturally limits her available choices at most restaurants her family frequents.)

  3. VREAA, it’s even more insidious than you’ve suggested, because it’s blatantly in the open.

    Each party has their platform, and a developer who stands to benefit from their platform will pay Vision (donate to them) so that they can see the platform move ahead. And if that party wins the election, they push their platform forward, which benefits the developer. Nothing even remotely illegal, whic is what makes it so insidious.

    For example, Vision wants to knock down the viaduct to make way for condos. All a developer has to do is help buy Vision the election, and it’ll benefit the developers tremendously when Vision starts knocking the viaduct down.

  4. wow. I don’t read for about a day and VREAA puts up more gold in the last few anecdotes.

    A snapshot along my introspective journey from Real Estate sheeple to cynical bubble watcher: I notice that somewhere in the past few months I completely dropped the “New Monaco” or “B.C. => “Billion (rich) Chinese” scenario as an outcome to assign any probability to. Speculative bubble is a speculative bubble. I can’t say this new found faith will not waver if the HAM purchases ratchet up again like last spring, but at the moment I’m feeling rather silly for even once entertaining the fear of being “priced out forever”. It will take its time to unwind, but we will see some smug grins wiped out eventually.

  5. Perhaps, on election night, the contributors backing the winner could be listed and congratulated, maybe even called up on stage?

  6. Anyone interested in who contributes to your municipal representatives ?

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