PHILIPSBURG--National Alliance (NA) leader Member of Parliament William Marlin and fellow MP Louie Laveist want the campaign funds to political parties to be capped as a means to level the playing field. They also want to limit the amount of radio and television airtime political parties can have for the same reason.
"We need a cap on spending," Laveist said. Neither he nor Marlin gave any indication about the amount where they want to see campaign financing capped.
Marlin said a limit on airtime during election campaign was needed, because a political party with more money can buy up more radio spots or commandeer private talk shows for the duration of the campaign due to the country's "open market." Without limitation, the elections campaign would be "lopsided" and would "create an unequal field." Given those factors, "democracy would not be served."
Commenting on the Democratic Party (DP) board's call for international election monitors for the upcoming parliamentary elections, Marlin said DP and its leader Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams need to give an explanation about why this is needed. "The public will really need to know."
He said the country has regulations and institutions to properly guide elections and instance of supposed breaches, such as the ongoing vote-buying case, related to the United People's (UP) party, are being dealt with.
Laveist concurred with Marlin, but pointed out that it was "a crying shame" that the vote buying case is ongoing since 2010.