Conservatives to campaign against party subsidies -

Conservatives to campaign against party subsidies

PMO wants to put $30 million program on the chopping block


Officials inside the Prime Minister’s Office have confirmed to The Hill Times the Conservatives plan to make cancelling government subsidies to political parties a key plank in their election platform. Though it’s not clear whether the federal Conservatives would push ahead with a substitute for the $30 million in party funding paid out by Ottawa, PMO spokesperson Dmitri Soudas did say his party planned to seek voters’ approval of a plan to shutter the program. According to Tom Flanagan, a former top adviser to Stephen Harper, the Tories aren’t likely to push ahead without at least considering additional changes that would prevent rival parties from wilting under the financial blow. “The media would beat you up for deliberately bankrupting your competition and I think the blowback from that would be pretty intense,” Flanagan said, “so if they are going to do it, they have to find some practical way of replacing at least a substantial portion of the lost revenue.”

Hill Times

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Conservatives to campaign against party subsidies

  1. I am not confident the Conservatives will provide any alternatives; I suspect they'll just say "raise money from your members, don't rely on the government". I don't really like where that leads, though: parties play on their member's fears to solicit donations and whoever does the best job of making their members afraid of their opponents gets an advantage in getting their message out.

    I really don't think that is constructive.

    • All the parties do that anyways though, it won't change if they are also getting money from the government.

  2. Note that they only want to get rid of the money paid out by Ottawa to the parties.
    Not the tax subsidy that goes out for donations.

    Anybody who thinks this is the Harperites attempting to be fiscally conservative rather than just trying to make a dollar-based dictatorship out of democracy simply isn't paying attention.

    • The suggestion that the tax subsidy be taken out – is there any party that would even remotely consider taking this on? It certainly would be one hell of an alternative to offer, though I assume no one would be interested in taking it on.

  3. I don't know, I for one am sick of voters for other parties being entitled to put my money where their mouth is!

    • Well, as I understand it, its something like two dollars for every person that votes, and its based on the number of votes a party receives. So basically, its the only time, ever, when you get a direct say in where you want your taxes to go. Even if it is only two bucks.

  4. Why not get rid of tax rebates on political donations then too?

  5. Jesse, I gather from your note that you are ok with putting your mouth around where the money is with your own party? is that your party's motto?

  6. Does this proposal also include the tax credit that applies to political donations?

    Didn't think so.

  7. My research at the Eletions Canada webiste suggests that the other program that directs federal tax dollars to political parties (the tax credits) costs roughly the same amount.

    We should ditch that program and keep the per vote subsidy. Financially the effect of ditching the credit and keeping the subsidy instead is balanced, and ethically keeping the subsidy is fair… other words, my suggestion is FAIR and BALANCED.

  8. Do the Conservatives really want a one-party state? Really really?

    • It all depends on the answer to the question "What's the one party?"

  9. When it comes to the significant issues, the Harper party once again manages to completely underwhelm.

  10. We should ditch both the per-vote and the tax subsidy.
    Parties are an artificial construct, not an inherent part of our Parliamentary system. They should find their own funding.

    And to all those who say "what's the problem? Your taxes get allocated by your vote!" here are the problems:
    (1) Voting is not the same as donating. If I want to vote, I vote. If I want to donate, I donate. Don't force me to do either.
    (2) Some people pay very little tax. Some people pay a lot of tax. The former outnumber the latter by a lot. The per-vote subsidy forces those who pay the most taxes to pay for parties supported by those who pay the least taxes. It's quite unjust.

    I'm pretty sure I don't have to defend getting rid of the tax credit – people who are bitterly opposed to eliminating the per-vote that props up the Liberals, NDP and Bloc are generally quite amenable to eliminating the tax credit that helps the CPC. What a strange and mysterious dynamic that is.

    • And while we're at it, could you put a "None of the above" option on the ballot? As is, for someone like myself, who wants to participate in the political process, but dislikes all of the candidates, our only option is to spoil our ballots. I routinely do this, but it would be nice to get a tally of how many voters thought no candidates were worthy of their votes.

      • Actually I think you can also register a "protest vote", which is distinguished from a spoiled ballot and denotes exactly your sentiment. I've seen this done.

        • News to me. I still think it should be a ballot option.

          • Ah, now that is interesting and informative. I must have seen it done in a provincial election.

          • I was under the same impression as well. I just happened to decided that I wanted to verify the information in case I wanted to utilize it for the next election (I can only get so annoyed with the whole process before I start spoiling ballots).