Editorial: Any publicity is good publicity

It only goes to show what a hot topic B.C.'s upcoming provincial election has become...

It only goes to show what a hot topic B.C.’s upcoming provincial election has become that BC Liberal candidate for Columbia River-Revelstoke Doug Clovechok made national headlines last week.

That Liberal Premier Christy Clark rushed to   defend the fundraiser thrown in Clovechok’s honour in Calgary, Alberta last Thursday didn’t hurt Clovechok’s public profile either. As the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity.

Yet the issue proved not to be because Clovechok broke protocol.

Fundraising in other provinces for a provincial election appears to be a legitimate thing to do, according to a spokesperson for the NDP who spoke to the Globe and Mail.

What had people talking was the fact that Clovechok’s campaign fundraiser actually took place outside the province of British Columbia.

In his defence, Clovechok has said that out-of-province fundraisers aren’t uncommon, and while no examples have been forthcoming, it begs to question why this differentiation between out-of-province funding and a fundraiser that physically takes place out-of-province really holds any weight at all.

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t make a difference whether a B.C. political party benefits from  financial support that comes in from another province or an individual affiliated to any one party takes a trip across the border to fundraise.  The funds are still coming in from sources that are not in-province, although an Alberta-based businessowner who runs a B.C.-based business may choose to think otherwise.

Regardless, it’s not a debate of right versus wrong. Any opinions on the issue come  down to personal preference as opposed to party politics. Whereas the NDP accepts donations from companies based outside of B.C., NDP MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke Norm Macdonald stands by the fact that fundraising efforts for his campaign are based strictly in his riding.

But a pricey fundraiser in Calgary for a campaign taking place in this region overlooks what could have been an opportunity to put money in the hands of local businesses. Had the fundraiser been held on this side of the border for the very same assortment of B.C. and Albertan business people, residents in the Columbia River-Kootenay riding would have already begun to benefit.