TCI reviewing political financing

| 03/07/2012

corruption_0.jpg(CNS): The authorities in the Turks and Caicos Islands have begun another public consultation process on legislation, this time on proposed new rules for political party financing. The governor’s office published the suggested legislation on Tuesday and is now asking the country to consider how donations to political parties should work, what the limits should be on campaign spending, the reporting process and penalties. The move to better regulate political financing is one of the recommendations from the 2009 Sir Robin Auld inquiry that exposed the concerns over corruption in TCI and led to the imposition of direct rule from London.

The TCI governor’s office said that an earlier draft of the legislation was given to local political parties and other society groups. officials said It was also discussed in the UK earlier this year and a range of modifications have now been included in the new draft.

The law, once passed, will apply to political parties and independent candidates, although the reporting requirements and obligations on independents are lesser due to their likely lack of party machinery to support their campaigning.

Comments as to how this might be best achieved are specifically being sought during the public consultation, the governor’s office said.

The public is being asked to consider if there should be a maximum amount an individual donor can give a party, suggesting $50,000, and also who should be allowed to fund parties, among other issues.

“The Westminster Foundation for Democracy plans to return to TCI in late July to begin their work with the local political parties on accounting for campaign financing and political financing, advice on policy-based campaigning and bilateral consultations for prospective independent candidates,” said Philip Rushbrook, Director of Strategy in the Governor’s Office. “The draft Political Activities Ordinance will be used as the basis of their training activities."

He also said that the Integrity Commission would set up an ‘election monitoring unit’ to examine accounts and investigate omissions and complaints, which would work in conjunction with the Elections Office.

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  1. Campaign for real democracy says:

    Here if ever is a good time with a good reason to remove moneied interests from politics completely. It's a real shame that the Brits dont want to be seen to be preaching what they dont pracatice.  ALL private donations should be illegal.  All registered candidates should be entitled to receive a small public stipened along with equal (and free) air time on national radio and public TV to reach out to all voters.   An equal playing field sets the stage then for the candidates to be fighting for their seat with only their platform and charisma (the real reason for electing someone) as their tools. 

    The reality is that in a place like TCI where there are actualy only around 3,500 registered voters and in some constituencies only 50 or so voters.  A few $$$ can go a long way towards swinging an election !


  2. anonymous says:

    It is an attempt to make the buying of politicians harder to do.  The problem wh have here in Cayman is that our Premier is working for the big monied people not the people.  Laws such as this will help to reduce that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Governor Todd, if I want to support a party, why can't I donate an unlimited amount of money?  It is my money and if you don't like the party getting my support, tough! 

    • Charles Brown says:

      Because, Mr. Anonymous, if you were rich enough XXXX you might also buy up some politicians and be running things the way YOU want, and not for the good of the people.  Any dummy can see that…… I see it!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        But Charlie, law or no law, isnt that what is happening now?  You can't stop payoffs and backroom deals.