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Things catching my attention today

– Rick Mercer goes after the Conservative government’s use of our Canadian Forces as political props, and calls it a “new low in Canadian politics”.

– Mark Francis of Section 15 writes an open letter to Conservative cabinet minister “no one cares about prorogation except elitists” Tony Clement (and avoids addressing him as “The Honourable Tony Clement” so he doesn’t feel elitist).

This article was written by Lorne Gunter on the evils of public election financing (who normally writes for the Edmonton Journal), and it appeared in the Ottawa Citizen today. Apparently public election financing is bad, according to Lorne, because we’re “forcing people to support separatists”. This is nonsense. As I said over there, The BQ is getting money based on the amount of votes that they receive – as are the rest of the parties. Therefore, they’re indirectly being funded by the folks who choose to vote for them, just as the rest of the parties are. The public system is not “forcing” anyone to give money to a party they don’t like. The public system is allowing voters to fund the party of their choice. (H/T to Impolitical).

– Oh, and it’s also nice to see that a fair # of the media aren’t falling into the “he said she said” stance and are actually not buying the Conservatives “prorogation is routine!” line they’ve been offering up as one of their convoluted defences for this.

3 comments to Things catching my attention today

  • I still believe Liberals could get in front of this issue and show leadership by making public financing of political parties a personal choice; make it so that on each ballot the voter is asked: Do you wish the political party of your choice to receive a $2 public funding contribution?

    It would mean that people aren’t forced to fund political parties (at least as misinterpreted mischieviously by the CON nation) but could say yah or nay…

  • Ted

    I don’t think you can say that the per vote subsidy means that they are being indirectly funded by the people that vote for them. Where tax money comes from (mostly the wealthy in cities) and where it goes (where the votes are) are entirely separate things. What I think it is accurate and fair to say though is that the per vote subsidy is at least more democratic in that taxes follow votes.

    And I would point out as Mark does that the per vote subsidy is way more democratic that the tax deduction subsidy. If Jane donates $100 to the Conservatives she gets $75 back which means all taxpayers (regardless of their party preference) subsidize the Conservative Party by $75. Since the Conservatives raise more money from their donors and have way more donors, their subsidy from non-supporters is way bigger. Funny how you never hear them complain about that.

    Worse, with a 75% subsidy, there is an incentive away from donating to other charities for which there is only a 50% deduction.

  • In the Bloc instead fell back to relying on personal donations (as it should), it would still be getting public money as donations are highly tax-deductible. There’s the 50% rebates from the public trough Bloc EDAs get when they have greater than 10% of the vote (which is often).

    I would point out that we are also funding Greens who aren’t even in the Commons, Conservatives who close it down on an anti-democratic whim, and squabbling opposition parties.

    Parliament costs us hundreds of millions a year even without counting the subsidies.

    And yet, we keep voting to send MPs there, and to give them funding.

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