Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Get Rid of Political Party Subsidies

In a time when we must exercise fiscal restraint, getting rid of political party subsidies is a great idea. Besides why should our hard earned tax dollars go towards forced political donations.  Remember what happened in 2008 when PM Harper and Finance Minister Flaherty suggested that in the fall update?  All hell broke loose. That`s when the coalition of the losers exposed themselves.   A poll taken at that time showed 61% supported getting rid of $1.95 per vote subsidy. And it`s just not the $1.95 per vote subsidy. There are other subsidies too that Brian Lilley from Sun Media emphasizes.
An analysis of taxpayer subsidies to political parties by QMI Agency found that tens of millions of dollars are handed over to political parties each year on top of the $27 million they get through their per-vote subsidy.
“One of the crazy aspects of it is they give themselves a larger tax deduction than charities get,” said Kevin Gaudet of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Gaudet said charities such as hospitals would be considered more important than political parties by most Canadians even if the tax law favours politics over health.
The low-tax crusader is also part of an ongoing campaign to get rid of the $1.95 per vote per year subsidy that each political party gets.
“Political parties should exist solely on their ability to get donations from their supporters,” said Gaudet.
Two years ago the threat of opposition parties losing their per-vote subsidy lead to a revolt and the threat of a coalition. The Harper government backed down over accusations they were simply out to get their political rivals.
Based on an analysis of several years of fundraising numbers, removing the per-vote subsidy would have a crippling effect on the Bloc Quebecois.
A poll taken in late 2008 showed 61% of Canadians agreed with removing the subsidies.
Not everyone agrees though.
NDP Leader Jack Layton has called the Harper government’s threat of removing the per-vote subsidy an “attack on democracy.” Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has said the opposition parties won’t let the Harper government take away the subsidies.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made clear that he will raise this issue with voters at the next election.
It`s true it would cripple the Bloc. They`re just lazy. They don`t want anything do with the ROC but will gladly take our money.  It would cripple the Liberals as well. They were used to being funded by big money by big corporations and stealing taxpayer money when they're in power (adscam etc). The CPC would be hurt the least. They know how to fund raise by getting small donations from a large number of donors.
The NDP on the other hand back in 2008 could have helped themselves out by siding with the Conservatives which would have basically crippled the Libs instead of being involved with loser coalition.  The public would have supported them.  They would basically be poised to become the official opposition with Jack and Olivia moving into Stornoway.  I guess the possibility of seeing a way to fast track into power by over throwing a duly elected government got in the way.

I`m glad this will be an issue come next election.  How are the opposition parties go on the campaign trail justifying why they should take our money to fund their parties especially in a time when the government should be cutting the deficit?


  1. Oh yes, PLEASE remove the subsidy.

  2. Agreed the NDP made a tactical mistake in not finishing off the Liberals with Conservatives in the Fall of 2008.

    The Democrats have a habit if giving the Liberals a chance to recover. Tommy Douglas, David Lewis, Ed Broadbent.

  3. The Conservatives have no credibility on this issue so long as they continue to support the even less democratic, even more detrimental and even more costly tax deduction subsidy that benefits the Conservatives more than other parties and results in non-Conservatives subsidizing the Conservative Party and encouraging Canadians to donate to political parties instead of charities.

    It's no wonder he doesn't go after that subsidy, but not doing so shows their position is about politics and not anything else.

  4. This is a great wedge issue for us. Harper will definitely use it during his stump speeches, and phrase it along the lines of: "why should a taxpayer directly subsidize a political party that they didn't vote for ?"

    There is no need for him to single out the Bloc or Liberals or Dippers. So if the Bloc feigns outrage at this "humiliation", we can rightly say that this elimination of the $1.95 per vote subsidy isn't directed at ANY particular party.

    The more that the coalition rails against this plank of Harper's platform, then the more everyone will know how important this is to them. It's like when Lady Macbeth was protesting too much.

  5. It's no wonder he doesn't go after that subsidy, but not doing so shows their position is about politics and not anything else.

    All parties benefit from the tax deduction subsidy not just the CPC. Besides how do you know for sure PM Harper won't go after the other subsidies as well. The parties have to be slowly weaned off the public purse. You have to start somewhere. The $1.95 voter subsidy is a good start.

  6. "All parties benefit from the tax deduction subsidy not just the CPC."

    All parties benefit from the per vote subsidy too. But the tax deduction subsidy benefits the Conservatives more than the others, costs taxpayers far more, is far less democratic, takes money from charities and investments. It is far worse, in other words, but it benefits the Conservatives far more. So it is no wonder Harper won't touch it.

    "Besides how do you know for sure PM Harper won't go after the other subsidies as well."

    Because he has never once mentioned while he has mentioned the per vote subsidy plenty of times and has gone after it once and says he will go after it again.

    "The $1.95 voter subsidy is a good start."

    It is only a "good start" because Harper has no intention of going after anything else and is obviously only going after this, not on principle, but to stick it to the opposition.

  7. The beauty of it is that if Iggy wants to suddenly declare he wants it ended, Harper can quickly table a confidence motion to do just that.
    Game set and match.

    How can you tell this is the oppositions achilles heel?
    Its all in the responses.
    If it wouldn't have an effect, it would be ridiculed by certain posters, but instead there is outrage.
    "How dare he!" they exclaim.
    Oh yes, he will dare. Count on it.

  8. The money that goes to the Bloc also helps the Parti Quebecois as a lot of the Bloc people go back to the Parti Quebecois. The two parties often share research and resources.

  9. Are we talking for the 'little guy' Layton bloc and libs all feel sorry for yet they wouldn't surrend to (not take from) the little guy the $1.95? Thought so!

    So what those three decided to do when the PM made this request? they went bezerk.


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