Elections BC - Political Contributions System
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Tips on Searching

The Political Contributions System (PCS) is a database that allows the user to search for details about certain political contributions made to registered political parties, registered constituency associations, candidates, nomination contestants who became candidates and political party leadership contestants. The information in the PCS is the same as the information on forms S-A1 and S-A1-A.

There are two types of general searches you can do; the S-A1 search and the S-A1-A search. The difference between the S-A1 and S-A1-A searches are explained below.

  1. S-A1 Search
  2. S-A1-A Search
  3. Searching by a contributor name
  4. Searching for contributions to a specific person or organization
  5. Searching for contributions to candidates, contestants and constituency associations of a political party
  6. Searching by filer type
  7. Searching for contributions in an electoral district
  8. Searching by dates
  9. Speeding up your search
  10. The results screen
  11. Downloading political contribution data

  1. S-A1 Search

    • This search is for contributors who made one or more political contributions in a reporting period that have a total value greater than $250 to a single registered political party, registered constituency association, candidate, nomination contestant, or leadership contestant.
    • Political parties and constituency associations use form S-A1 in their election financing reports, annual financial reports and deregistration financial reports.
    • The election financing reports for political parties and constituency associations include contributors who made political contributions from January 1 to General Voting Day.
    • The annual financial reports for political parties and constituency associations report contributors who made political contributions during the calendar year. If there is an election during the year, the contributor information from the political parties’ and constituency associations’ election financing reports is also included in the annual financial report.
    • Candidates and leadership contestants' financing reports include contributors who made political contributions at any time in relation to the candidacy or leadership contest.
    • Candidates also submit a separate S-A1 listing contributors who made political contributions totalling more than $250 in relation to their nomination contest.
    • Deregistration financial reports for political parties and constituency associations include contributors who made political contributions from January 1 to the date of deregistration. TOP


  2. S-A1-A Search

    • This search includes combined contributions from contributors who made one or more political contributions in a year to the registered political party, registered constituency association or a candidate for the party that, in total, have a value of greater than $250.
    • For example, if a contributor gave $100 to 10 candidates for the same party in the same calendar year, the contributor’s information would not appear on form S-A1 in the candidates’ reports because the contribution is $250 or less. However, the contributor’s information must be disclosed by the party on form S-A1-A because the combined total of political contributions is greater than $250 (10 candidates x $100 = $1,000).
    • The S-A1-A is only used by registered political parties in their annual financial reports and does not include contributors who made political contributions to nomination or leadership contestants. TOP


  3. Searching by a contributor name

    To find out if a particular person or organization made a political contribution over $250, enter their partial name into the box labelled Partial Contributor Name. The PCS will search for all contributors with that name or part of that name. The results will show the name of the contributor, who they gave the political contribution to, how much the political contribution was and when it was made. It will also show the class of the contributor and, for certain types of contributor organizations, the names of two principal officers of the organization.

    For example, if you enter Smith in the contributor name field, the PCS will search for all contributors and principal officers with Smith in any part of their name, including Smith, Smithson, Smithfield , etc. The system does not recognize wildcards (e.g. *).

    Since the spelling of names can differ and some names include middle names, unless you are absolutely sure of the full name and spelling of the contributor you are looking for, it is best to just enter the last name and then scroll through the search results to find the particular contributor you are looking for.

    For example, if you want to know if John Smith made a political contribution over $250 to any filer and you entered John Smith in the box labelled Partial Contributor Name you would not get contributors named John Adam Smith. TOP


  4. Searching for contributions to a specific person or organization

    If you want to know who gave contributions to a particular candidate, select that candidate’s name from the Filer Name drop down list and click on the Search button. All the contributors who gave over $250 to that candidate will appear in your search results.

    The same applies to political parties, constituency associations, leadership contestants and nomination contestants. Select their name from the Filer Name drop down list and click on Search. TOP


  5. Searching for contributions to candidates, contestants and constituency associations of a political party

    The affiliation is the political party that the filer is related to. Independent candidates and candidates not representing a registered political party do not have affiliations.

    If you want to search for all contributions over $250 that were made to any of the candidates, contestants or constituency associations of a particular political party during a reporting period, you can choose that political party name from the Affiliation drop down box. TOP


  6. Searching by filer type

    The filer type is the type of individual or organization to whom the contribution was made. Filers are those entities who file financial disclosure reports with Elections BC. The filer types are:

    • Candidates
    • Registered constituency associations
    • Leadership contestants
    • Nomination contestants
    • Registered political parties

    Only registered political parties and registered constituency associations are included because unregistered political parties and unregistered constituency associations do not file financial disclosure reports with Elections BC. For nomination contestants, only those who actually become candidates have to file financial reports with Elections BC.

    You can limit your search to a particular filer type by selecting Filer Type from the drop down box. TOP


  7. Searching for contributions in an electoral district

    If you want to know about contributions made in a particular electoral district you can select the name of the electoral district from the Electoral District drop down box. The electoral district field is only relevant for candidates, nomination contestants and constituency associations. If you select a filer type of political party or leadership contestant, you cannot select a particular electoral district. TOP


  8. Searching by dates

    To search for political contributions made on a certain date or in a certain year, you can pick those dates by using the Date From and Date To drop down boxes. Political contributions over $250 that were made in the reporting periods between the date from and the date to will be displayed in your search results. TOP


  9. Speeding up your search

    There are a large number of contributions in the PCS. For faster search results, narrow your search by entering a contributor name or choosing a particular filer name, filer type or dates.

    The more you narrow your search, the faster the system will return the results. Therefore, we recommend that you if you are interested in who gave money to a particular party in 2006, you limit your search by selecting that party from the Filer Name drop down list and choose the Date From as January 1, 2006 and the Date To as December 31, 2006. TOP


  10. The results screen

    When you’ve picked what search criteria you want to use and entered them into the search screen, click on the button labelled Search. The PCS will look for contributions which match the criteria you selected.

    The search results will appear on the screen in a table format. Your search criteria will appear in a smaller table near the top of the screen. You can change your search criteria by clicking on the Modify Search button; print your search results by clicking on the button labelled Printer Friendly; or download your search results into a file that you can use later.

    On the search results table you can sort the data by clicking on an underlined column heading. For example, if you want to sort by the amount of the contribution, click on the column heading Amount. You can only sort by one column at a time.

    The search results screen can only show 50 records on a page. If your results have more than 50 records, you must click on the other page numbers which are shown just above the search results column headings.

    The search results columns for the S-A1 and the S-A1-A searches are a little different. Only political parties file S-A1-As so not all of the information is relevant for the S-A1-A search.

    The column headings for the search results are explained below:

  11. Contributor Name

    The name of the individual or organization that made the contribution.

    Date

    The date the contribution was made.

    Amount

    The dollar value of the contribution. For contributions of goods and services, this is the fair market value.

    Class

    The class of the contributor. The classes are:
    1 – Individuals
    2 – Corporations
    3 – Unincorporated organizations engaged in business
    or commercial activity (for example, partnerships)
    4 – Trade unions
    5 – Non-profit organizations
    6 – Other contributors

    Principal Officer 1

    Class 3, 4, 5, & 6 contributors and numbered corporations must have the names of two principal officers or directors disclosed.

    Principal Officer 2

    Class 3, 4, 5, & 6 contributors and numbered corporations must have the names of two principal officers or directors disclosed.

    Filer Name

    The name of the individual or organization who received the contribution (S-A1 only).

    Filer Type

    The type of individual or organization to whom the contribution was made. The filer types are:
    Candidates
    Constituency associations
    Leadership contestants
    Nomination contestants
    Political parties
    (S-A1 only)

    Affiliation

    The political party that the filer is related to. Independent candidates and candidates not representing a registered political party do not have affiliations (S-A1 only).

    Electoral District

    The electoral district of a candidate, nomination contestant or constituency association. Electoral district is not relevant for political parties or leadership contestants (S-A1 only).

    Party

    The political party which reported the contribution in their S-A1-A form (S-A1-A only).

    TOP


  12. Downloading political contribution data

You can download all the political contribution data directly from the search screens by clicking: "To download all contributions data from S-A1 forms, click here." However, since there are tens of thousands of political contribution records, it will take several minutes to download all the data.

Faster downloads can be done by narrowing your search, as discussed above, and clicking on the Download Search Results button on the search results screen. TOP