Having written this column a couple of weeks back on electoral financing in Saskatchewan, I'll take a moment to address this letter to the editor in response from R. Curtis Mullen.
It's indeed true that Saskatchewan has spending limits which apply during an election campaign. But the Canada Elections Act does in fact regulate both donations and campaign spending, leaving little room for anybody to argue that it's an "either"/or situation.
More importantly, though, campaign spending limits fall short of addressing the principled basis for donation restrictions on two fronts.
First, they do nothing about the problem of concentrated donations.
However a party is limited in spending its money, it may still have a strong incentive to run its campaigns (and its other operations) to please donors who contribute a disproportionate share of their funding. And the combination of lax donation rules and limited spending could in fact make it all the more likely that a party would be bought at an affordable price by one or more wealthy donors.
And second, they do nothing about pre-campaign spending by a party.
That's been less an issue in Saskatchewan than on the federal scene as the advertising we currently see tends to be funded out of government or caucus coffers. But surely it's not hard to see how a gusher of unregulated funding could swamp our public discourse - leaving little room for other voices to push their way back into the mix during an election campaign.
It may well be worth also considering other options to improve our political system, such as regulations on third-party campaign advertising as suggested by Mullen. But that reality only signals that we should be having a conversation about the changes which ought to be made - not settling for matters as they stand as the Wall government seems inclined to do.