Do wealthy candidates have an advantage?
Election spending limit
By Claire Peters
New regulations have been proposed that could limit the amount of money candidates can spend on election campaigns.
They say it pays to advertise, but does having an unlimited budget give you a better chance of being elected into the States?
Some islanders believe the wealthy have an unfair advantage when it comes to the democratic process.
At the moment we have no idea how much candidates spend on their campaign.
However, new regulations that limit the amount candidates can spend are being brought to the States by the Privileges and Procedures Committee.
The new rules say senators could spend £2,500 plus 10p for every person on the electoral roll.
Constables and deputies would have an initial allowance of £1,500 plus the additional 10p for each elector in their district or parish.
This would amount to a maximum spend of about £8,000 for senators, and £1,600 for a candidate standing in a small parish, such as St Mary.
If the new rules get accepted candidates will be asked to submit evidence to the Greffier of how much they spent on their election campaign.
Anyone who has exceeded their maximum spend could be liable for prosecution.
No more anonymous
The proposed regulations also state candidates can no longer receive anonymous donations.
“We just want people to know exactly where the candidate’s money is coming from,” explained the head of the Privileges and Procedures Committee, Constable Derek Gray.
“The only way to do that is to ensure all anonymous donations are actually remitted to the Treasury, and then sent on to charities, so that people are quite clear where candidates are being funded from.”
Have your say
Do you support Constable Gray’s proposal to cap candidate’s campaign budget?
Do you think candidates who can afford to spend more on advertising have an advantage?
last updated: 03/06/2008 at 15:14
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