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In defence of Canada's publicly financed election system

As you may have heard, the Conservatives have decided they’re going to campaign next election on getting rid of public financing of our federal elections in Canada. This system was brought in by Prime Minister Chretien, in conjunction with putting severe limits on how much money corporations and unions could donate to a campaign. Canada thus joined many other democratic countries in the world -including the US – that have a form of public financing for elections.

The Conservatives seem to think they can campaign on it being “wasted money” on politicians, but of course, the real reason is they want to cripple their rival parties from receiving funding. […]

Decima drops the Cons. lead on the Liberals to 4 points today.

The new Harris-Decima poll shows a narrowing gap of 4 between the Cons and the Liberals based on, you guessed it, economic worries:

The latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll gave Harper’s Conservatives 31 per cent support across Canada, just four percentage points clear of the resurgent Liberals. The New Democrats had 20 per cent support, with the Greens at 12 and the Bloc Quebecois at eight per cent. Four of every 10 respondents – particularly women, city-dwellers and older, affluent voters – say the roller-coaster markets are causing them to rethink their vote, largely at the expense of the Tories, said Harris-Decima president Bruce Anderson.

The Liberals remain well clear of the Cons. in Ontario, the Cons remain mired in 3rd place in Quebec, and here might be the most important part of the poll:

Wednesday’s poll also suggested newfound support for Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, who is “marginally more popular” than Harper for the first time in the campaign, Anderson noted. Positive impressions of Dion stood at 41 per cent, with 48 per cent of respondents reporting the opposite. Some 51 per cent of respondents said they had a negative impression of Harper, while 40 per cent were positive.

This poll was taken, I suspect, before the nation got to hear the PM tell everyone that people were panicking and there were great buying opportunities out there in the stock market. I’ll be interested to see how that comment reverberates with the Canadian public over the next day or 2.

UPDATE @ 11:40 am: Haha. Great snark by Kady O’Malley:

…for the first time ever, the Most Leaderiest Prime Minister in the History of Ever is one point below the European-schooled sociologist when it comes to having a “favourable impression” : 40% – a new low – with Not A Leader at 41%

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