For the past few municipal elections/by-elections, I have registered as an individual Third Party Sponsor, under the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. Once again, for 2022, I am a registered Third Party Sponsor. This is why you will see the following disclosure on some of my media posts:
Authorized by Brad Richert, registered sponsor under LECFC, email@example.com
Inevitably, usually because someone disagrees with my political perspective or because I don’t support or endorse their candidate, this often leads to questioning what this disclosure means. So this year, I figured I would get ahead of such questions with a short explanation of the subject.
Second, the third party status has nothing to do with dependence or independence to any candidate or group. A third party sponsor is someone who is NOT a political candidate, but can advertise either FOR a candidate, a group of candidates, or an IDEA/CONCEPT/CAUSE.
The only difference between someone who registers as a third party sponsor and a typical voter/supporter is that registering allows me to legally pay for advertising during the pre-campaign and campaign period. Since I occasionally “boost” my Better Langley facebook posts about topics directly related to the election and also endorse a group of candidates (who are not related to each other, but merely a group of people I think best represent the ideas promoted on Better Langley), I MUST register with the LECFC.
If you see any Facebook page using paid advertising during the pre-campaign or campaign periods, they MUST be registered third party sponsors. The Guide for Local Elections Third Party Sponsors in B.C. provides for some examples of what is and isn’t considered advertising:
So if I was to just run this blog and my Facebook page with my opinions, I would NOT have to register, but because I place ads to boost readership, I DO have to register.
Furthermore, because I am registered, I have to disclose my expenditures relating to my “campaigns” similar to candidates. Unless, of course, I spend under $500.00. Then I just tick off the box that says I spent under $500.00 – which, so far, I have always done so. Since I am writing a lot more for this 2022 election, it is possible I may cross this threshold, we shall see.
So why do I do this?
For two reasons: first, I am a huge urban design nerd who loves well thought out walkable neighbourhoods. This is achieved mostly on the local level. Second, I believe that every community needs passionate people that have the time and energy to keep tabs on their local elected officials and be a part of making their community better. While some past and present elected officials actually think that being elected is the ONLY way to do so, that’s not quite how democracy works. We need people from all walks of life, still engaged in their own professions with their own experiences, to be politically engaged. To brush anyone with an oppositional opinion simply because they not elected is simply undemocratic.