101

If I were running the Harper war room…


 

…I’d throw myself into traffic.

But before I did, I’d do the following so that my leader would know I didn’t die in vain:

I’d go down to Kinko’s and order up a novelty-sized cheque written out to the receiver-general for $10.4 million, the exact amount the Conservatives harvested from Elections Canada for the per-vote subsidy. (Hat tip to Globe for the lovely graphic.) Then I’d tell someone pithy and deadly serious—like, say, Stephen Harper—to stand in front of the thing at a press conference and have him say something like:

“We believe that paying parties for their supporters’ votes is a waste of taxpayer money. We don’t believe in it, so we’re giving it back. The Liberals brought in this wasteful policy. Does Michael Ignatieff  have the courage to do the same as us? Does the Bloc? Does the NDP?”


 
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If I were running the Harper war room…

  1. Pretty wimpy war Martin.

  2. Pretty wimpy war Martin.

  3. Why would Harper have to do that? Seems more like:

    a) Wanting to dump on this announcement by Harper.

    b) Wanting him to make more sacrifices than other parties. Why?

    Again, odd.

  4. Why would Harper have to do that? Seems more like:

    a) Wanting to dump on this announcement by Harper.

    b) Wanting him to make more sacrifices than other parties. Why?

    Again, odd.

  5. He doesn't like this particular trough, at least. He's just fine with the other two troughs: huge tax credits for donations to parties, and reimbursement of campaign expenses.

    I have yet to hear a very compelling case as to why those troughs are okay, but the per-vote trough is horrid.

  6. He doesn't like this particular trough, at least. He's just fine with the other two troughs: huge tax credits for donations to parties, and reimbursement of campaign expenses.

    I have yet to hear a very compelling case as to why those troughs are okay, but the per-vote trough is horrid.

    • Because the Tories have a huge advantage in those two.

    • That's my biggest issue with the proposal.

      WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER $32 MILLION, STEVE?!

    • I completely agree with you, it's totally self serving on Harper's part, but personally I'm still happy to get rid of any of the troughs (though all of them would be much better).

  7. Then Harper should come out with a coherent and consistent position against granting 75% tax credits to citizens for their political donations, which cost the treasury a further $10.5 million. After all, if he thinks parties should go it alone, then why go halfway?

    But I doubt that Mr. Harper wants to take away a perk that so many of his donors enjoy. So he'll remain illogical. He'll say, "It's wrong for political parties to receive support from the taxpayer via the treasury – but it's okay for the taxpayer to receive support from the treasury for supporting political parties."

    Is this really the most important issue of the day?

  8. Then Harper should come out with a coherent and consistent position against granting 75% tax credits to citizens for their political donations, which cost the treasury a further $10.5 million. After all, if he thinks parties should go it alone, then why go halfway?

    But I doubt that Mr. Harper wants to take away a perk that so many of his donors enjoy. So he'll remain illogical. He'll say, "It's wrong for political parties to receive support from the taxpayer via the treasury – but it's okay for the taxpayer to receive support from the treasury for supporting political parties."

    Is this really the most important issue of the day?

  9. LOL Harper was probably hoping you wouldn't notice that.

  10. Because the Tories have a huge advantage in those two.

  11. LOL Harper was probably hoping you wouldn't notice that.

  12. "Just when I thought he couldn't possibly be any dumber, he goes and does something like this… and totally redeems himself!"
    — Paraphrasing Harry min Dumb and Dumber

  13. "Just when I thought he couldn't possibly be any dumber, he goes and does something like this… and totally redeems himself!"
    — Paraphrasing Harry min Dumb and Dumber

  14. If I were running the Harper war room, I would ask the nation if the Liberal Party should pay back the money which was shuffled back and forth in brown paper bags, in order to try and buy Quebec's vote.

    (Only but a select few of Quebeckers ended up with a lot of that dough!)

    But then again, the Harper war room wouldn't have to stoop that low. And that is a good thing for Canada!

  15. If I were running the Harper war room, I would ask the nation if the Liberal Party should pay back the money which was shuffled back and forth in brown paper bags, in order to try and buy Quebec's vote.

    (Only but a select few of Quebeckers ended up with a lot of that dough!)

    But then again, the Harper war room wouldn't have to stoop that low. And that is a good thing for Canada!

    • "Only but a select few of Quebeckers ended up with a lot of that dough!"

      And which ones were part of the federal Liberal Party?

      Why should the national party be required to pay back money bilked from the government by and shared between provincial bagmen and advertising and pr hacks?

  16. Ouch. Okay, that article's pretty brutal — even though it's just facts and numbers.

  17. Ouch. Okay, that article's pretty brutal — even though it's just facts and numbers.

    • I agree, maybe it's just because its Friday but it seemed really ugly. Not including how much money each party raised and how many votes were cast for each party was probably a mistake.

  18. That's my biggest issue with the proposal.

    WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER $32 MILLION, STEVE?!

  19. "Only but a select few of Quebeckers ended up with a lot of that dough!"

    And which ones were part of the federal Liberal Party?

    Why should the national party be required to pay back money bilked from the government by and shared between provincial bagmen and advertising and pr hacks?

  20. So what is the problem with playing by the existing rules as you want to change the rules?

    (Yeah, yeah, in-and-out blah-blah, I get it.)

    I admit it might be the most impressive spectacle the floundering Harper campaign might put on in the month of April, were it to perform such a stunt. But the announcment to kill the subsidies is still a daring announcement as the air might just be whooshing out of the Tory majority balloon.

  21. This suggestion is really tired and old.

    It's like the suggestions that:
    -Harper never appoint senators until he gets his senate reform, thus turning the senate into a Liberal chamber
    -Maclean's refuse the magazine subsidy, because they're not in favour of it, thus disadvantaging themselves with their rivals
    -Taxpayers deliberately not claiming tax credits they are entitled to, because they didn't vote for them
    -selling your old car before you buy a new one

    Why should the Conservatives disadvantage themselves in order to make a point? That's just stupidity.

  22. This suggestion is really tired and old.

    It's like the suggestions that:
    -Harper never appoint senators until he gets his senate reform, thus turning the senate into a Liberal chamber
    -Maclean's refuse the magazine subsidy, because they're not in favour of it, thus disadvantaging themselves with their rivals
    -Taxpayers deliberately not claiming tax credits they are entitled to, because they didn't vote for them
    -selling your old car before you buy a new one

    Why should the Conservatives disadvantage themselves in order to make a point? That's just stupidity.

    • So, why should one political party unilaterally change the rules without consultation with the other parties? They're stacking the deck in their favour by retaining public financing schemes that benefit themselves the most.

      • Um, you mean like Chretien did when he instituted the per-vote subsidy in the first place?

        • And all this time I was sure he did it to spite Paul Martin.

          • I think he did too, but it was unilateral and without consultation (as far as I recall).

        • Um, Chretien implemented the per-vote subsidy at the same time he began limiting corporate donations to $1000 per year.

          THAT was his cash-cow, which he gave up.

          • See above comment, I was pointing out it was a unilateral decision.

          • Apparently the decision to drop the corp and union donations did involve the reformers. Harper signed up for it – which makes him a hypocrite, for i don't know, the umpteenth time? The level of the sub – which i believe conveniently matched the libs corporate losses[ more or less] was implemented unilaterally.

        • There was consultation with the other parties at the time. The change also helped the other parties at the expense of the Liberals, so I think it was more of a sincere desire to change the political finance system for the better.

          • Chretien's proposal was called dumb as a sack of hammers at the time, by i believe the LPC prez…your arguement rings true to me…or at least as true as you can ever realistically expect from a political party.

      • You don't consult the other parties, you consult the voters, and that is what he's doing. It's the voters' money.

        Do kids consult their siblings when they raise their allowance, or do they consult their parents? Do you consult your colleagues when you ask for a raise, or do you ask your boss?

        John Edgar has a good additional point – the Liberal imposed the subsidy, unilaterally. So it can be removed, unilaterally.

        • When you change the rules of our electoral/political system, you should do it with more than a plurality of support. These kinds of changes should be done by more of a consensus. Harper is stacking the deck in his favour, especially when the more egregious uses of public money are the campaign expense rebates and tax credits for donors. I'm annoyed that my tax dollars are subsidizing donation to the CPC, and it needs to stop (wink wink).

          This change is pretty strictly designed to entrench the governing party. In most countries that's not viewed as a positive step, or particularly democratic.

          • Only a partisan would see it that way. The Cons are losing the most money with the move.

            "This change is pretty strictly designed to entrench the governing party"

            That comment is such gibberish. You could not possibly be more wrong with that statement. That is such a falsehood, it's the opposite of the truth.

            The subsidy assists the incumbent, obviously, because the incumbent gets the most money (relative to other paties), not based on current support, but based on the last election (no matter what the incumbent's performance has been), and two, the incumbent no longer has to make the effort to raise funds, it's given to him automatically, regardless of what he's done while in power.

            A democratic system is not more democratic when the parties help themselves to taxpayer money, rather than appealing for donations voluntarily. A democratic system leaves the power in the hands of the voters, not the politicians. In a democratic system, you raise funds based on your record, you don't help yourself to funds through the coercive power of taxation. Taxation is not meant to be a source of funding for politicians to promote themselves, taxation is supposed to benefit the citizens, not the politicians. Only a partisan would claim otherwise.

            The subsidies are designed to assist the incumbent, which is not surprising given the fact that Chretien instituted it unilaterally with a majority government in the hope that it would help entrench Liberal governments in perpetuity.

    • Except t hat Harper actually promised the first one, didn't he?

    • I've said it before, and I'll say it again: principles are for losers.

      • Liberals wouldn't know a principle if it hit them over the head. So you're wrong, apparently principles are not for losers.

        • What, is "I know you are but what am I" on vacation or something?

  23. So, why should one political party unilaterally change the rules without consultation with the other parties? They're stacking the deck in their favour by retaining public financing schemes that benefit themselves the most.

  24. I completely agree with you, it's totally self serving on Harper's part, but personally I'm still happy to get rid of any of the troughs (though all of them would be much better).

  25. Um, you mean like Chretien did when he instituted the per-vote subsidy in the first place?

  26. Listen I hate Harper but all this media talk about how awful he's doing isn't helping…

    The CPC has a sizeable lead in the polls so clearly he isn't doing that bad in the eyes of the general population (Ontario especially).

  27. Listen I hate Harper but all this media talk about how awful he's doing isn't helping…

    The CPC has a sizeable lead in the polls so clearly he isn't doing that bad in the eyes of the general population (Ontario especially).

  28. I agree, maybe it's just because its Friday but it seemed really ugly. Not including how much money each party raised and how many votes were cast for each party was probably a mistake.

  29. Martin, don't throw yourself into traffic just yet, lol!!!

    This is becoming classic Harper – just when he appears to be stepping into the biggest and freshest cow-pie – poof – comes out smelling of roses!!!

  30. Martin, don't throw yourself into traffic just yet, lol!!!

    This is becoming classic Harper – just when he appears to be stepping into the biggest and freshest cow-pie – poof – comes out smelling of roses!!!

    • until he does a face plant into an arts funding cut he didn't see coming.

  31. If I in turn ran the Liberal war room, I would then get a novelty cheque 2.5 times as big, for $26 million, and say

    "This is how much Harper spent two weeks ago on advertising the stimulus for the Harper government. NOT the stimulus. NOT the full advertising budget. Just advertising for his government for THAT WEEK. And I'm introducing a plan like they have in Ontario to stop this kind of ridiculous overspending."

  32. If I in turn ran the Liberal war room, I would then get a novelty cheque 2.5 times as big, for $26 million, and say

    "This is how much Harper spent two weeks ago on advertising the stimulus for the Harper government. NOT the stimulus. NOT the full advertising budget. Just advertising for his government for THAT WEEK. And I'm introducing a plan like they have in Ontario to stop this kind of ridiculous overspending."

  33. And all this time I was sure he did it to spite Paul Martin.

  34. Except t hat Harper actually promised the first one, didn't he?

  35. I think he did too, but it was unilateral and without consultation (as far as I recall).

  36. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: principles are for losers.

  37. Remember when the Reform Party members weren't going to take their pensions? When the leader of the Opposition wasn't going to occupy Stornoway? Good times, those …

  38. Remember when the Reform Party members weren't going to take their pensions? When the leader of the Opposition wasn't going to occupy Stornoway? Good times, those …

  39. Um, Chretien implemented the per-vote subsidy at the same time he began limiting corporate donations to $1000 per year.

    THAT was his cash-cow, which he gave up.

  40. See above comment, I was pointing out it was a unilateral decision.

  41. The LPC would be smart to support the revocation of the per vote subsidy, but also roll it into a package of electoral reform including:

    Banishing advertising outside of an election period. Or even deduct it from a party's election spending limit.
    Amendment of the election act to ensure that the "In and Out" loophole scam is shut airtight

    Whether just or not, in the minds of most voters, the per vote subsidy is bound to die as a part of deficit reduction
    The banishing of ads plays to something voters actually want
    Bringing up the "In and Out" opens up a talking point on Conservative ethics

    Mr Harper has left a gift on the doorstep. Use it.

  42. The LPC would be smart to support the revocation of the per vote subsidy, but also roll it into a package of electoral reform including:

    Banishing advertising outside of an election period. Or even deduct it from a party's election spending limit.
    Amendment of the election act to ensure that the "In and Out" loophole scam is shut airtight

    Whether just or not, in the minds of most voters, the per vote subsidy is bound to die as a part of deficit reduction
    The banishing of ads plays to something voters actually want
    Bringing up the "In and Out" opens up a talking point on Conservative ethics

    Mr Harper has left a gift on the doorstep. Use it.

    • That's a tough call. Don't want to cede Harper all the ground – don't want to look too entittled. I agree they should come back with a package of reforms that include some reduction of the subs[ adopting and getting the endorsement[unlikely] of democracy watch would be ideal] but don't necessarily highlight them – puts the spotlight back on the Harper govt misdeeds.
      I don't agree they should just support the revocation of the per vote sub – there are principles at stake over and above the $.
      Perhaps stressing the lop sided nature of the party donation credit might not be a bad idea. Probably important not to get bogged down in insider baseball stuff? Easy peasy eh?!?!

      • Liberals should come out with their own version — on each ballot would be a box to check — 'I want a public subsidy of $2 sent to the party of my choice.'
        Unchecked, nothing is sent.
        CONs get their say, while those who feel small public subsidies are good will be happy, too.

        • I think Flanagan already suggested something like that.

    • Mr Harper has left a gift on the doorstep. Use it.

      Agree absolutely. At least use the opportunity to inform the citizenry exactly how much politics cost – even outside of actual election periods.

      Disclaimer: I'm not against the per-vote subsidy; I think it's the donations that get in the way of democracy and I would bet they are the more costly by a long shot.

  43. And this post shows why you are not.

    Memo to Macleans bloggers, you are not political strategist. You are glorified stenographers. If you where great political strategist, you would be political strategist.

    "And as for the critics, tell me I don't get it
    Everybody can tell you how to do it, they never did it"

    Jay-Z -Already Home

  44. And this post shows why you are not.

    Memo to Macleans bloggers, you are not political strategist. You are glorified stenographers. If you where great political strategist, you would be political strategist.

    "And as for the critics, tell me I don't get it
    Everybody can tell you how to do it, they never did it"

    Jay-Z -Already Home

    • JDot
      Do you know what the word facetious means?

  45. Apparently the decision to drop the corp and union donations did involve the reformers. Harper signed up for it – which makes him a hypocrite, for i don't know, the umpteenth time? The level of the sub – which i believe conveniently matched the libs corporate losses[ more or less] was implemented unilaterally.

  46. Liberals wouldn't know a principle if it hit them over the head. So you're wrong, apparently principles are not for losers.

  47. until he does a face plant into an arts funding cut he didn't see coming.

  48. You don't consult the other parties, you consult the voters, and that is what he's doing. It's the voters' money.

    Do kids consult their siblings when they raise their allowance, or do they consult their parents? Do you consult your colleagues when you ask for a raise, or do you ask your boss?

    John Edgar has a good additional point – the Liberal imposed the subsidy, unilaterally. So it can be removed, unilaterally.

  49. Don't do it MP…at least not until you've had a word with Errol Mendes…he knows a thing or two about this…and he's a damn sight more forthcoming and less selective than SH is, that's for sure.
    http://www.cbc.ca/checkup/main-blog/2011/01/23/sh

    This was a particularly good cross country check-up. Mendes' views are of particular interest. It may be a constitutional matter?

  50. Don't do it MP…at least not until you've had a word with Errol Mendes…he knows a thing or two about this…and he's a damn sight more forthcoming and less selective than SH is, that's for sure.
    http://www.cbc.ca/checkup/main-blog/2011/01/23/sh

    This was a particularly good cross country check-up. Mendes' views are of particular interest. It may be a constitutional matter?

  51. That's a tough call. Don't want to cede Harper all the ground – don't want to look too entittled. I agree they should come back with a package of reforms that include some reduction of the subs[ adopting and getting the endorsement[unlikely] of democracy watch would be ideal] but don't necessarily highlight them – puts the spotlight back on the Harper govt misdeeds.
    I don't agree they should just support the revocation of the per vote sub – there are principles at stake over and above the $.
    Perhaps stressing the lop sided nature of the party donation credit might not be a bad idea. Probably important not to get bogged down in insider baseball stuff? Easy peasy eh?!?!

  52. Liberals should come out with their own version — on each ballot would be a box to check — 'I want a public subsidy of $2 sent to the party of my choice.'
    Unchecked, nothing is sent.
    CONs get their say, while those who feel small public subsidies are good will be happy, too.

  53. The CPC's position regarding taxpayer support of political parties seems hypocritical – they complain that it is not fair to allow 13,000,000 Canadians to allocate $26M of tax money, yet they support allowing 150,000 Canadians to allocate an additional $20M of tax money.

    Seems to me that they have the definition of fairness completely backwards.

  54. The CPC's position regarding taxpayer support of political parties seems hypocritical – they complain that it is not fair to allow 13,000,000 Canadians to allocate $26M of tax money, yet they support allowing 150,000 Canadians to allocate an additional $20M of tax money.

    Seems to me that they have the definition of fairness completely backwards.

    • Too true. Unfortunately it is far easier to say cut this…rather than..

      Opposition parties: "woah, hold up a minute! How bout the other subsidies?"

      Joe public: "What other subsidies?"

      Opposition parties: " The party tax credit. The one that allows for up to a 75% tax payer funded tax credit. It's far more inequitable then the per vote party subsidy.It's scandalous! Furthermore it's…….."

      JP:" Taxpayer, tax credit, inequa, scandal whaa…zzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • I think really this should be reviewed by a non-partisan body and outside of election politics. But that's not to be I guess and the opposition needs to respond.

        You could simplify it almost to "stop the gravy train" basics – the actual numbers in a bold graphic could make the point. Taxpayers are known to respond to real or perceived raids on their wallets.

        At the moment, the per-vote subsidy looks like the biggest and most unfair cash grab. Most Canadians are pretty oblivious about how much we actually subsidize the donations of others and expenses claimed by parties.
        That information is well summarized here http://www.hilltimes.com/dailyupdate/view/63.

        In summary terms, the cost of the various subsidies has been as follows: total per vote subsidies in 2010 were $27.4-million; total tax credits in 2010 were $21-million (probably an underestimate); reimbursement of parties for 2008 election expenses were $29.2-million; reimbursements of candidates for 2008 election expenses were $28.7-million; and there is no estimate for the free broadcast time in 2008 election.

        Too many numbers? Could be.

        Making a case that eliminating the subsidy moves us more toward a US-style 'democracy' owned by the wealthy was probably a good first shot by Ignatieff, I think.

        Presumably the opposition can now capitalize on this opening (as of a can of worms) to discuss campaign spending vis-a-vis the CPC, ethics and all. Is this another blunder by the Harper campaign?

  55. I think Flanagan already suggested something like that.

  56. Too true. Unfortunately it is far easier to say cut this…rather than..

    Opposition parties: "woah, hold up a minute! How bout the other subsidies?"

    Joe public: "What other subsidies?"

    Opposition parties: " The party tax credit. The one that allows for up to a 75% tax payer funded tax credit. It's far more inequitable then the per vote party subsidy.It's scandalous! Furthermore it's…….."

    JP:" Taxpayer, tax credit, inequa, scandal whaa…zzzzzzzzzzzzz

  57. Harper: cold, mean, aloof, distant.

    If I were Ignatieff, I would state that the choice is between a warm caring Liberal government of Canadians and a cold one-man autocracy of a Harper regime. People around the world have been fighting to gain democracy while Harper insists that you vote for his one-man dictatorial rule.

  58. Harper: cold, mean, aloof, distant.

    If I were Ignatieff, I would state that the choice is between a warm caring Liberal government of Canadians and a cold one-man autocracy of a Harper regime. People around the world have been fighting to gain democracy while Harper insists that you vote for his one-man dictatorial rule.

    • I don't believe that will work. At least not on CR voters, which Ignatieff needs as well as soft lefties. Harper relishes being put in the corner as meanie Steve – so do many of his supporters. Don't ge t me wrong, you have to make that case. Just saying the libs need to avoid looking like shrill school girls while doing it.

  59. A daring announcement? Maybe in the "I dare you" sense. Presumably a rewind on the previous "I dare you" moment of the campaign – the one where Ignatieff double-dared him on a one-on-one debate and Harper blinked.

    It seems like the CPC is trying to drag the country backwards toward election 2008 first through the coalition and now the budget featuring this exact poison pill.

    If they're not careful they are going to look like they are right out of ideas.

  60. A daring announcement? Maybe in the "I dare you" sense. Presumably a rewind on the previous "I dare you" moment of the campaign – the one where Ignatieff double-dared him on a one-on-one debate and Harper blinked.

    It seems like the CPC is trying to drag the country backwards toward election 2008 first through the coalition and now the budget featuring this exact poison pill.

    If they're not careful they are going to look like they are right out of ideas.

  61. Mr Harper has left a gift on the doorstep. Use it.

    Agree absolutely. At least use the opportunity to inform the citizenry exactly how much politics cost – even outside of actual election periods.

    Disclaimer: I'm not against the per-vote subsidy; I think it's the donations that get in the way of democracy and I would bet they are the more costly by a long shot.

  62. JDot
    Do you know what the word facetious means?

  63. There was consultation with the other parties at the time. The change also helped the other parties at the expense of the Liberals, so I think it was more of a sincere desire to change the political finance system for the better.

  64. When you change the rules of our electoral/political system, you should do it with more than a plurality of support. These kinds of changes should be done by more of a consensus. Harper is stacking the deck in his favour, especially when the more egregious uses of public money are the campaign expense rebates and tax credits for donors. I'm annoyed that my tax dollars are subsidizing donation to the CPC, and it needs to stop (wink wink).

    This change is pretty strictly designed to entrench the governing party. In most countries that's not viewed as a positive step, or particularly democratic.

  65. I think really this should be reviewed by a non-partisan body and outside of election politics. But that's not to be I guess and the opposition needs to respond.

    You could simplify it almost to "stop the gravy train" basics – the actual numbers in a bold graphic could make the point. Taxpayers are known to respond to real or perceived raids on their wallets.

    At the moment, the per-vote subsidy looks like the biggest and most unfair cash grab. Most Canadians are pretty oblivious about how much we actually subsidize the donations of others and expenses claimed by parties.
    That information is well summarized here http://www.hilltimes.com/dailyupdate/view/63.

    In summary terms, the cost of the various subsidies has been as follows: total per vote subsidies in 2010 were $27.4-million; total tax credits in 2010 were $21-million (probably an underestimate); reimbursement of parties for 2008 election expenses were $29.2-million; reimbursements of candidates for 2008 election expenses were $28.7-million; and there is no estimate for the free broadcast time in 2008 election.

    Too many numbers? Could be.

    Making a case that eliminating the subsidy moves us more toward a US-style 'democracy' owned by the wealthy was probably a good first shot by Ignatieff, I think.

    Presumably the opposition can now capitalize on this opening (as of a can of worms) to discuss campaign spending vis-a-vis the CPC, ethics and all. Is this another blunder by the Harper campaign?

  66. Only a partisan would see it that way. The Cons are losing the most money with the move.

    "This change is pretty strictly designed to entrench the governing party"

    That comment is such gibberish. You could not possibly be more wrong with that statement. That is such a falsehood, it's the opposite of the truth.

    The subsidy assists the incumbent, obviously, because the incumbent gets the most money (relative to other paties), not based on current support, but based on the last election (no matter what the incumbent's performance has been), and two, the incumbent no longer has to make the effort to raise funds, it's given to him automatically, regardless of what he's done while in power.

    A democratic system is not more democratic when the parties help themselves to taxpayer money, rather than appealing for donations voluntarily. A democratic system leaves the power in the hands of the voters, not the politicians. In a democratic system, you raise funds based on your record, you don't help yourself to funds through the coercive power of taxation. Taxation is not meant to be a source of funding for politicians to promote themselves, taxation is supposed to benefit the citizens, not the politicians. Only a partisan would claim otherwise.

    The subsidies are designed to assist the incumbent, which is not surprising given the fact that Chretien instituted it unilaterally with a majority government in the hope that it would help entrench Liberal governments in perpetuity.

  67. What, is "I know you are but what am I" on vacation or something?

  68. I don't believe that will work. At least not on CR voters, which Ignatieff needs as well as soft lefties. Harper relishes being put in the corner as meanie Steve – so do many of his supporters. Don't ge t me wrong, you have to make that case. Just saying the libs need to avoid looking like shrill school girls while doing it.

  69. Chretien's proposal was called dumb as a sack of hammers at the time, by i believe the LPC prez…your arguement rings true to me…or at least as true as you can ever realistically expect from a political party.

  70. I agree with whoever said that funding of political parties should be formulated outside of partisan political parties. In my opinion, especially having read the Rex Murphy link above, ALL political party funding should be direct-per-vote subsidy. If I can direct the funding to the party I vote for, that seems to me to be democratic. That way my vote counts for something, even if my candidate does not win the seat. That's an encouragement to me to vote rather than get turned off the whole process and not vote at all. At the same time, I would abolish ALL political donations of any kind by anyone. I would also set up or enforce "truth in advertising" rules, so that pure lying propaganda would be illegal. I would also have rules about how government advertising would work – so that partisan political advertising could not be disguised as government "information." The result of all this, might, MIGHT, cause the parties to be more likely to focus on policies, and because they would have so much less money to throw around, make them more cautious on the attack ads and personality ads, as they couldn't afford them.

  71. I agree with whoever said that funding of political parties should be formulated outside of partisan political parties. In my opinion, especially having read the Rex Murphy link above, ALL political party funding should be direct-per-vote subsidy. If I can direct the funding to the party I vote for, that seems to me to be democratic. That way my vote counts for something, even if my candidate does not win the seat. That's an encouragement to me to vote rather than get turned off the whole process and not vote at all. At the same time, I would abolish ALL political donations of any kind by anyone. I would also set up or enforce "truth in advertising" rules, so that pure lying propaganda would be illegal. I would also have rules about how government advertising would work – so that partisan political advertising could not be disguised as government "information." The result of all this, might, MIGHT, cause the parties to be more likely to focus on policies, and because they would have so much less money to throw around, make them more cautious on the attack ads and personality ads, as they couldn't afford them.

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