Campaign finance legislation is based on the premise that money is a significant factor in electoral success.
Legislation therefore attempts to promote financial equity and fairness primarily with respect to election campaigns. Some have referred to campaign finance legislation as legislation designed to create a level playing field.
Campaign finance legislation, in the form of The Election Financing Act (EFA), was introduced in Manitoba in 1980. It included a limit on advertising expenses and public financial support in the form of tax credit. In 1985, it was expanded to limit total election expenses, allow for reimbursement of expenses and included an audit subsidy.
Goals of the legislation include:
- increasing participation in the electoral process
- controlling the amounts of money which can be spent
- sharing of resources so as to promote a broader range of views
- public financial support (reimbursement of eligible expenses and tax credits for contributions)
Since its introduction, The EFA has continued to evolve to improve the fairness and transparency of the electoral system through the introduction of contribution limits and by enhancing public disclosure (the types of information political participants must report to Elections Manitoba).
In 2012, the EFA was rewritten in plain language to make the law more accessible to the public. Along with the re-write, the new legislation changed the way in which the annual allowance to registered parties administered and introduced new third party legislation.
In this section you can learn about the financial responsibilities of registered parties, leadership contestants, candidates, constituency associations, official agents, auditors and others.