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?