Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

PM taking aim at party subsidies in next election

I guess you could call it a warning shot across the bow of the Opposition parties... "You guys force an election, and we'll take away the wasteful per vote funding after we win."

The Right Hon. Stephen Harper has said that campaign finance reform, specifically the removal of the per vote subsidies, will be part of our platform in any upcoming campaign. That oughta get Duceppe and the Bloc searching for ways bend over backwards in order to support us.

For context, think about this figure for a moment... $54 MILLION. That's how much the Opposition Coalition has cost Canadian taxpayers since they blocked the cutting of the subsidy when we first proposed it in 2008.

Here's another figure... $330 MILLION. That's how much an unnecessary election will cost should the Opposition force one upon us.

But we're ready... so are Canadians. I think they're getting sick of this never ending election cycle, and are ready for us to make our case for four years of good Conservative government and Conservative economic stability.

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  • At Wed. Jan. 12, 08:26:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Jeremy Andrews said…

    Yeah, I'm totally down with giving $11 for a chance to beat Harper. And you're down with $11 to try and shut down Ignatieff.

    Don't act like the relativity of these numbers don't mean something. $330 million is huge to someone who thinks in terms of their $35-90K income, but nothing to a nation with a $1.3 trillion GDP and an operating budget in the hundreds of billions.

  • At Wed. Jan. 12, 08:41:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    While I agree, the fact that this government has increased both the size of government and government spending does not help. I am still waiting for the CPC to start acting like a Conservative government.

  • At Wed. Jan. 12, 10:35:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Jeremy,

    Though I firmly oppose your political position I completely support your right to give money to your party of choice. HOWEVER... I object to my VERY CORE the idea that with MY tax dollars I should be supporting parties other than the one I believe in. I think the subsidies should be abolished in their entirety and parties supported entirely by the people who CHOOSE to support them.

    But of course the "I'm entitled to my entitlements" crowd will surely disagree...

  • At Wed. Jan. 12, 10:47:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Eric said…

    J. Andrews: I think that the fact that "$330 million is huge to someone who thinks in terms of their $35-90K income" is one of the reasons that this policy is a winner. Look what Ford did in Toronto by play-fighting against far lesser expenditures.

  • At Thu. Jan. 13, 04:36:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Konrad said…

    Eliminating the subsidies would be pure realpolitik. In general terms, Chr├ętien's decision to implement them (later enumerated on by Harper in the Accountability Act) was necessary in order to compensate for the loss of party income resulting from the strictures surrounding corporate donations (party financing being a vital aspect of political involvement and literacy). Of course, the likely protestation to this point is that the CPC has managed to successfully procure individual donations that have exceeded party subsidies, thus proving it's possible, but this misses the point that the party subsidies--dolled out as they are on a per-vote basis--are donations, and I don't think it's an unfair assumption that if a citizen is willing to cast their vote for a party they're unlikely to be opposed to donating two dollars to it or whatever.

    So what this really boils down to isn't an integral left v. right issue--both the Liberals and CPC are naturally supportive of public--but not necessarily public-sector--financing; something attested to by the fact neither party would ever support eliminating the tax write-offs associated with political donations. Rather, this debate is about the medium for financing political parties, and particularly its strategic implications: the Liberals would prefer a streamlined system in which you donate with your vote, whereas the CPC would prefer a system in which donations are achieved via a constant stream of chain e-mails and grassroots lobbying; apparently something they excel at.

    Reducible to group interest as these approaches are, all that's really left to evaluate is the policy behind them. And I think, from that perspective--objectively--that Chr├ętien got it right; cultivating a system in which parties (which are socioeconomic entities, we should remember) don't have to function bureaucratically as private foundations, nor be subject to the arbitrariness of individuated donations. Of course--given the massive problems in our society with respect to voter turnout--these principles are more important now than ever.

  • At Thu. Jan. 13, 07:03:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The other problem is that the money given to the Bloc indirectly subsidizes the Parti Quebecois provincial party. The two parties tend to share a lot of their resources, people and research.

    The Parti Quebecois up til lately has been having trouble raising much money (Charest is in deep trouble).

  • At Thu. Jan. 13, 09:26:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't know what's sadder - that you believe this junk, or that you're so out of touch you don't realize how crazy this is.

    Harper already forced an election on us when he broke his own fixed-date law. If you wanted to save $300 million, you could have started with the G20. How many million were dropped in Tony Clement's riding alone?



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