Be prepared for election signs going up everywhere in B.C. starting today! The 2013 general election campaign officially launches today as the writ is dropped, 28 days before the provincial election on May 14.
Candidates and their parties have already been campaigning for a long time now but today’s official start of the ‘campaign period’ will see some changes.
The main difference now is spending limits. Prior to today, from February 15 to April 15 (the ‘pre-campaign period’), parties were able to spend up to $1.15 million. From today until election day (e-day) on May 14, they’re allowed to spend a whopping $4.6 million. Individual candidates were able to spend up to $70,000 pre-campaign and have another $70,000 from now until e-day. Expenses include things like signs, online and newspaper ads, office rentals and paid staff, among others.
You’ll probably be happy to know that third-party advertising limits are now in place. Before today’s official launch, there were no limits to advertising campaigns (like Concerned Citizens for B.C., aka CC4BC). Starting today, third parties are only allowed to spend up to $3,000 per individual riding.
Those of you not registered to vote, but are eligible to, have until April 23 to register to vote. If you forget to register, you’ll still be able to vote – you’ll just have to do it when you vote. To save you from that potential headache, just click here and register now. It’ll take you less than five minutes and you’ll need your B.C. driver’s license number or the last six digits of your Social Insurance Number.
Today, Premier Christy Clark will visit B.C.’s Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon in Victoria and ask her to dissolve the legislation. After this, the ‘writs of election’ will be issued by the chief electoral officer, Keith Archer. British Columbia is divided into 85 individual ridings and each has their own writ.
Image: Mike Bocking