Ottawa ON – Here we go again; political parties will be receiving their latest handout from Elections Canada, courtesy of the Canadian taxpayer.
Our political establishment will receive roughly $6.9 million of your tax dollars divided up as follows: Conservatives $2,609,418, Liberals $1,819,999, New Democrats $1,260,002, Bloc $691,289, Greens $469,686. Keep in mind that this is only one of 3 instalments that they receive.
I have heard all the phoney arguments about this being good for democracy, but is it really? Is it any better than paying out money or grants to special interest groups to popularize their positions?
The three main parties have no excuse for needing taxpayers dollars. They have been around long enough to have established the fundraising mechanisms necessary to raise sufficient funds for their operations. If they can’t, it says more about poor organization, and more importantly poor political platforms and leadership than it does about the current law which restricts who can donate etc. If nothing else, removing the taxpayer funding will force them to streamline their operations, improve their fundraising mechanism and pay attention to issues that matter both to Canadians and their membership. To ignore that reality would mean that your fundraising would be unsuccessful and you would have to cut back your operations. You would get a pretty quick wake-up call to refocus on what mattered to Canadians and your membership
It may even force the Liberals and NDP to take a long hard look at whether or not they can continue to go along their merry way as separate parties. A shock I know, unite the left instead of unite the right for a change.
The Bloc and the Greens are in a slightly different position. I am always thrilled to know that my hard earned tax dollars are going to support the Bloc, a party that wants to destroy my country. Let them try to do it on their own dime. As this is a democracy and they are a legitimate party, let them raise funds from people who support their cause. Why should taxpayers coast to coast be assisting them with their plans?
The Green Party is relatively new on the scene. Should they receive a taxpayer hand out? No. You build a party by offering a platform and leadership that is attractive to a large number of people. You have to be more than a one issue party and attract a broad spectrum of people. There is nothing wrong with starting small, perhaps in one province and gradually expanding your reach as you build your political base. You don’t have to be an instant national party; the Bloc is proof of that.
For all those who see ending the taxpayer subsidy as the death of democracy in Canada, reduce the subsidy by a specific amount each year over a five year period. I find it hard to believe that a modern political party with all the fundraising tools available to it, couldn’t raise and extra 20% each year to replace the loss of the taxpayer subsidy. In the mean time they stand on the corner, cap in hand waiting for the taxpayer to give them a handout.