VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – At a campaign stop at the Vaisakhi parade in Surrey Saturday, Liberal Leader Christy Clark criticized the NDP for fundraising letters sent to the business community.
The letter asks for a $5,000 donation, after it mentions the specific amount that business or individual donated to the Liberals in the past.
“It is our hope that you will adopt a balanced approach to your support in the lead up to the election in May,” it states. “I am asking your organization to make a contribution in the range of $5,000 now to show your commitment to a balanced approach to government.”
Some businesses say it implies a donation is prudent, given the NDP might form the next government.
BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark says it’s not a way to win friends.
“I just think it’s wrong for any political party to decide that they want to send that kind of a letter, because it sounds to me that, what they’re doing…they haven’t even finished the election and they’re already drawing up an enemies list.”
She understands leaders can solicit to anyone, but feels the letter had a ‘donate or else’ tone, making the donations seem mandatory.
“It sends the wrong message, when you say you want to work with the business community you want to work with employers and create jobs, and on the hand, send a letter like that, it’s just not on.”
Liberal candidate Mike de Jong is calling on the NDP to fire their provincial secretary for writing the letters.
Meanwhile, the Liberal leader was asked if she’s feeling any backlash from the ethnic vote scandal. Clark says folks are glad the government brought the Times of India Film Awards to Vancouver.
The Liberals weren’t the only political party at the Sikh festival. Three out of the four premier hopefuls were there to meet and greet people in Surrey Saturday.
Does the glad-handing impress voters?
“It takes away from our culture. They come here for the politics. It kind of bothers me,” says one young man.
“They think about their own interests, whether it be politicians, whether it be their own businesses. People use this as a tool to advertise their own interests,” says another man.
With an election just weeks away, others say it’s a good opportunity for leaders to learn about South Asian culture and to get to know the voters in the community.