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Hey, big spenders!

Monday, April 5th, 2010 | 9:52 am

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Norm Letnick took in the most political donations among his two Liberal peers and the three NDP runner-ups in last year's election. (File photo)

By Joe Fries

Remember that vote you cast in last year’s provincial election?

It cost you $11.77.

Factor in the vote on the STV referendum and the figure goes up to $12.48.

Those tidbits and more are contained in a new report that was delivered to the legislature by B.C.’s chief electoral officer.

That document also details who spent what here in the three Kelowna ridings, which were all won by rookie Liberals who far outspent their competitors.

In Kelowna-Lake Country, winner Norm Letnick had expenses of $69,747 and grabbed 10,283 votes, while NDP runner-up Matthew Reed collected 5,251 votes on expenses of $16,239.

In Kelowna-Mission, Steve Thomson won on the strength of 11,506 votes that cost $68,001, compared to second-place finisher Tisha Kalmanovich from the NDP who spent $17,118 to snatch 5,566 votes.

And in Westside-Kelowna, Ben Stewart parlayed expenses of $71,216 into 10,334 votes to trump the NDP’s Tish Lakes who got 5,656 votes on expenses of 23,283.

Combined, the three Liberals had expenses totalling $208,962, compared to just $56,640 on the part of their New Democratic rivals.

The winners have a wealthy uncle to thank for help. The Liberal trio received transfers totalling $248,466, while the three runner-ups received $47,285. Transfers are termed as non-reciprocal gifts of money, goods or services from a party, constituency association, or candidate from the same party.

In terms of straight political contributions from individuals, businesses, unions and the like, Letnick far outdrew his Liberal colleagues with $13,907, followed by Thomson ($8,650) and Stewart ($4,376). As for the runner-ups, Reed, Lakes and Kalmanovich each took in $4,531.

The chief electoral officer’s report pegs the total cost of the election at $35.3 million, which was spent to attract a historically low turnout of just 51 per cent of eligible voters who cast 1,594,770 valid votes. Another 56,369 ballots were rejected.

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2 Responses to “Hey, big spenders!”

  1. JD Thompson says:
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    It’s unfortunate these three charlatans cannot utilize their apparent financial skills for anyone but themselves. I would prefer our elected representatives apply the same zealous effort to providing some fitness funding, education and health care for their long suffering constituents. Evidently that is not the party line so we will have to be satisfied with more onerous taxes. And people wonder why a greater number of citizens refuse to vote – it’s a waste of time!

  2. jack says:
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    Rich Uncle? Come on now who is going to belive that!
    Norm, btw nice ethics you have say one thing to get votes and do another once elected!
    My anger against the hst is not dissapating.

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link