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Opposition fights cuts to party subsidies

Ending subsidies to become key campaign issue for Conservatives


 

The Liberals and NDP are opposing the Harper’s efforts to kill subsidies for political parties, saying that it is a self-serving pursuit that hampers democracy. In an interview with Postmedia News, Harper revealed that he would make ending the subsidies a key part of the Conservatives’ campaign platform. “A subsidy where parties make no effort to raise money is not acceptable, I don’t think, to Canadian taxpayers,” said the Prime Minister. Opponents to the subsidy cut say Harper is hampering other parties’ ability to raise funds outside of the private sector, giving the Tories a big advantage because of their ties to big business. NDP leader Jack Layton defended the subsidies as a key element to democratic reform, and said, “you’re going to end up with those who are able to ante up the bucks getting heard. And that is not democratic. It’s not right.” The subsidies were introduced in 2003 by the Chrétien government in order to ban contributions from businesses and unions.

National Post


 
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Opposition fights cuts to party subsidies

  1. About time. As a taxpayer like most of you, why should we subsidize politicians from taxes. Oh, I know the NDP has a bleat about how the little man needs to have a voice. The way they get a voice is to dig in THEIR pockets.

    • So then why don't we eliminate the subsidy for donations to political parties first? After all, it costs taxpayers more and is less democratic to boot.

      • Indeed, if they really want to cut back on government subsidies to political parties, they should start with the 75% income tax refund you get on donations. I bet the amount that people get far exceeds the $1.75 per vote that parties get from the direct subsidy.

      • it sounds more democratic if a person voluntarily donates money ..the only change i think they should make is political donations should get the same tax credit as charity donations and not more

        • It only sounds more democratic if you think only people with money should be able to avail themselves of democracy.

        • Why do political donations need a tax credit at all?

  2. Frankly I'd be happy if they eliminated all subsidies to political parties. However, that would mean they would need to rely on the grassroot supporters to finance the party. Canadians by and large are not interested in politics so I think what would happen the parties would starve to death and how is that good for democracy.

    • Not only that; it would effectively give extra votes to those with the pockets to fund the politicians. You just know there would be an increase in quid pro quo dealings. It's an open invitation to graft – which in turn makes me all the more suspicious of Harper's motives.

      Also, as Thwim pointed out above, the tax relief given for political donations is also a form of subsidy – so if one goes, so should the other.

  3. The subsidies were introduced in 2003 by Chretien, to ban contributions from business and unions.
    Let's see, the Cons would be funded by business.
    The NDP would be funded by unions.
    Chretien's got a majority government.
    NEXT!

    • Actually the Liberals were quite big with the Bay St. crowd at the time.

      NICE TRY!

  4. Some pundits have said that this was an attack on the Liberals. It is true that the Libs are not as good as the Tories at bringing in cash but they still get some.

    One party that is not good at that is the bloc.

    From the National Post on Fundraising…
    This is compared to the money raised by direct donations to the parties. According to the quarterly returns by parties on Elections Canada's website, in 2009, the Bloc fundraised $834,762.42; the Conservatives raised $17,770,477, the Greens raised $1,166,874.20; the Liberals raised $10,120,312 and the NDP raised $4,039,104.10.

    and from the National Post on subsidies….
    In total, the Conservatives received $10.4-million, the Liberals $7.3-million, the NDP, $5-million, the Bloc Quebecois $2.8-million and the Green party $1.9-million.

    While it would be painful for all, the one party that I see taking a kick in the junk area is the bloc.

    • You need to consider, though, that the Bloc, unlike the others, do not run a national campaign. They need nowhere near the level of funding as the rest. The NDP, for example, would need to spend in Quebec over a fifth of what they raised just to maintain parity with the Bloc in terms of campaign dollars.

      • You are right, of course the BQ has only Quebec to worry about. But even having to deal only with la belle province, $830, 000 just do not get you much.

        If donations remained the same, the NDP would be down by approx 50%, the bloc by 75%. Thus my reasoning that the bloc would be the worst off if this took place.

    • One word: Coalition.

      Why do you think Liberals oppose adding seats to BC, Ontario and Alberta? Why are they pushing for French in Supreme Court appointments?

      Funding $ 200 million for Quebec Arena. Blocking Northern BC oil pipeline to supply Asian markets. Their solution is too restrict the Oil Sands from diversifying.

      Could you imagine the Liberals demanding Quebec offer cheap hydro rates to Ontario and Atlantic provinces instead of selling it the Americans?

      Follow the Bloc or NDP policies in 2010 and the Liberals have adopted them.

      • Since when have the Liberals been against adding the correct number of seats in the HoC for BC/ON/AB? That's news to me… and may I remind you that is was a group of Conservative Quebec MPs who were pushing for arena funding.

        • You must be joking about the democratic reform rhetoric from the cheapseats. It is stalled without the support of at least one party.

          I have no problem with local MPs asking for arena welfare. That's expected.

          It can't happen with another five or ten other sports arenas finding the cash. (That's one billion)

          HST for QC won't happen Charest won't harmonize the taxes and let Ottawa collect it.

          Humble opinion PM+FM have flipped Bloc cooperation support permanently.

          The CPC have picked up two seats from the Bloc in by elections. Liberals and NDP need to do the same in Quebec.

        • <<<<<<and may I remind you that is was a group of Conservative Quebec MPs who were pushing for arena funding<<<<<<<

          They were not, they were showing their support for the <<maybe<< come back of the Nordiques. Stupid stunt really, like the one driving around Montreal saying to Québecers that the bloc did nothing in the last 20 years during the last election. Sometimes, even tough they are in the same camp, you would like to administer the proverbial kick in the behind .

  5. It's no surprise to hear the whining from the left regarding political party welfare. As usual the "Liberals", NDP and the Separatists think they're entitled to their entitlements, and once again the entitlement they declare their entitled to, is the taxpayers wallet. The left can't resist the urge to help themselves to taxpayers money while making the specious argument that it's "good for democracy", pathetic. Taxpayers being forced to fund the Separatists is nauseating and insulting! You'd think the "Liberals" would have stolen enough money from the treasury when they were in power to fund their campaigns for the next 20 years. Extorting money from the taxpayer to support political ideology is a recipe for disaster, and is about as far from democratic as one can get. Let Separatists supporters fund their own cause, don't force me to pay for the charades and facades of the extreme left agenda.

    • I'll give you the NDP but please explain how the Ignatieff Liberals are "the left".

      • Please explain how they are not…

      • They are the left because they need to be rammed into a narrative based on select and omitted considerations.

      • Have you looked at the limited policies the Libs have talked about:
        -national daycare
        -homecare
        -EI after only 45 days of work
        -eliminate corporate tax reductions (which creates jobs). He was for it. Now he is against them.
        -old age security for immigrants after being in the country 3 years
        -free tuition for students who meet the criteria

        Those are all policies that would normally come from the NDP.

      • Liberals adopted NDP policy while out of power.

        Bill C 311 Climate, Raising taxes on corporations need a list of more stolen NDP policies?

  6. The threshold to cash in isn't even high enough – Elizabeth May has no responsibility, she doesn't have to be rational, she doesn't have to do anything, so she doesn't – yet she puts a lot of our money in her pocket.

    Scrap the program, it detracts from our democracy in favour of leftist activists like the Liberals et al.

  7. What possible advantage comes from a connection with Big Business when the MAXIMUM donation anyone can make is just $1100. Such a comment reveals how little reason and logic have to do with the belly-aching of Coalition supporters.

    • Absolutely true. Some on this blog do not see to understand that donations by unions and corporations is already outlawed.

    • They'll change it when they get a majority, and we'll be in to the American financing model. Hope you like it.

      • They would. Many view politics as a winner-take-all team sport; rather than governance.

        If stifling other voices provides them a better megaphone, that one voice drowning out all others is what we need… even if that voice represents 1/5 of (edit: eligible) voters.

      • You are being facetious. Right?

  8. Democracy will be in peril. Big business with all the big money can buy any election . Big business is historically conservative because they get to call the shots. i.e more tax breaks for the rich, jets we cannot afford or in fact need , climate change is not happening etc. To have a equal and fair playing field each individual voter can donate to a reasonable maximum and corporations and businesses butt out. Corporations are not citizens. Harper is destroying Canada one day at a time.

    • In case you haven't heard. Donations by unions and corporations are not allowed under current fundraising legislation. You appear to have a pile of grievances but they are not related to the per vote subsidy.

      • it is difficult to deny that the federal financing rules (specifically banning donations from corporations and trade unions) has had an impact on corporate influence in the political world. Most of the corporate and union political donations occur in the provincial and municipal worlds, where there is a lot of influence peddling
        But do not lose sight of the fund raisers where $600.00 dollars a plate are purchased by corporations. Stockwell Day raised nearly two million by inviting his Bay street buddies. There is no limit on how may plates a corporation can purchase. Donations from ordinary citizens is just a portion of the money the parties collect. Big business favours conservatives and they will assist in any way they can

        • If we are going to eliminate the per vote subsidy we need to leave some ability for the political parties to raise funds. I do not believe that a company who buys tickets to a fundraiser has any real influence on policy Maybe but I don't think so. Political parties are big machines with lots of overhead. Unless we want to cripple them completely then we can eliminate all of the support through the tax system etc and force the parties to raise money only from the grassroots.
          I think this is unrealistic but I get the sense from your comments that is what you are advocating. Do you honestly believe that a government is that corrupt that they can be bought for a $500.00 ticket to a widely attended funraiser?

          • That's $500 a plate. Most businesses buy a table at minimum. At the first ticket, they've almost doubled the average contribution. At the second, they've pretty much equalled the maximum, and at the third they've gone beyond. (I don't know if they can write off some or all of the exepnses, I would guess it's a 50% entertainment expense). A corporations chief duty is to look out for it's own interest and increase profit for its shareholders. by very definition they get something out of buying these expensive tickets.

            And I don't know what you consider widely attended, but I expect the maximum would be around 200 people at these kind of things (I'm basing this on they usually have the same kind of venue as a medium-small wedding).

            Your concerns about parties needing $ are valid. they just aren't leading you to realistic conclusions.

      • Don't be so naive. They'll just change the regs and go back to the old system, and the Cons can get more funding from the Tar Sands consortium, and your little donation won't mean anything. They are opening the door to move to the American system of party financing. It's so obvious.

        • Facetious? I hope so.

    • Baystreet has been Liberal. Chretien made those changes to shaft the Martin legacy. Nice try call Conservative Big Business.

      They generate the MOST small donations from the largest pool of donors. That is why the loss of the subsidy will affect them the least. They actually have real people supporting them. You can thank the Reform as a grassroots Western based regional party for it.
      Compare them to the Bloc who don't raise funds locally because Federal dollars take care of it.

  9. “A subsidy where parties make no effort to raise money is not acceptable, I don't think, to Canadian taxpayers,” said the Prime Minister.

    The Prime Minister is being either disingenuous or dishonest here. For one thing, the other parties are making efforts to raise money. (They aren't as good at it as the Conservatives, but that's not what Harper is saying here.) For another, the purpose of this legislation isn't to save taxpayers money – it's to attempt to kneecap the opposition.

    The whole point of the party subsidy is that it benefits democracy in Canada – you know, ensuring that the will of the people is fairly represented by the electoral process. The stuff they used to talk about in Social Studies classes in school. As compared to the Conservatives, who are busy trying to game the system so as to maximize the benefit to themselves.

    And Harper might recall what happened the last time he tried this stunt – he had to prorogue Parliament to save his job.

    • I would suggest that the Bloc does little to fundraise in Quebec and leaves that opportunity for the PQ. The Libs are being helped by the per subsidy vote because their fundraising efforts are so weak. In other words supporters are not prepared to donate money to the party. Who knows the reason(s) but I suspect it is weak leadership and the lack of being an alternative government in waiting.
      Kneecap the opposition? What did they do before the per vote subsidy came into place? If the government eliminates the per vote subsidy I think the level of donations will have to be raised i.e. $5000. but no union or corporate donations. Game the system? The Conservatives will lose $10 million. That's not chump change.
      Harper is going to do it the way he should have in the first place. Bring forward legislation and eliminate the per vote subsidy. However, it is obvious that he will do a majority government to this.

    • ensuring that the will of the people is fairly represented by the electoral process. The stuff they used to talk about in Social Studies classes in school.

      Is the stuff of fairly applying rules so that any eligible candidate who wishes to run may do so. The stuff about cracking down — hard — on anyone who would dare to employ violence or intimidation on political opponents. The stuff about running — and appearing to run — a fair an impartial election, by fairly enumerating the voters, and by taking reasonable steps to prevent and detect (and prosecute anyone committing) voter fraud.

      The stuff about showering established parties with taxpayer cash, regardless of the taxpayer's wishes? I think I am glad I wasn't in your Social Studies classes.

    • If I am not mistaking, the coalition talks had started well before the economic update, but that is beside the point.

      The PM will take this on the next election trail because it is a winner of an issue.

      On one side, you will have the PM saying that 27 millions is wasted by supporting political parties, on the other side you will have opponents trying to convince the voters that they should be given cash. It is an issue worth gazillions votes on the election trail, an issue that makes opponents look like losers and an issue that will ring very well with many people.

      My humble opinion.

      • Exactly. The Liberals made the changes unilaterally in 2003 to become in effect 2004. Liberal President called dumbs as a bag of hammer (I think) some think it was done to ruin Martin legacy for pushing Chretien out early.

        In 2010-2011 it will be $ 300 million of political welfare to the Federal parties.

        You bet this is a winner for the Conservatives.

    • The Prime Minister is being either disingenuous or dishonest here

      ***

      Both!

  10. There are many countries that have publicly financed elections. That would include the United States (though it's an either/or option for the presidential candidates). This is not something Chretien came out of the blue with. He had precedents from other countries to use… and in doing what he did.. he did cut out the big funding his own Liberal Party got from some corporations.. a noble and principled measure. Harper, on the other hand, is trying to turn this into a way to kneecap other parties.

    And I find it rather rich (no pun intended) that Harper claims this system is wasteful to the Canadian taxpayers, when it costs a mere 27 million $.. and it is basically self-funded by giving a party 2$ per voter… when this guy spent a billion plus dollars on the G20.. wants to spend 16 billion $ on an untendered sole source stealth fighter jet.. and whose government has suddenly decided to start up the "Canada Economic Action Plan" ads on TV again, which cost a bunch of money to run.

    • Obama rejected the public option because his team worked very hard and raised much more vs McCain's team.

      Are Liberals unable to win or sell their ideas beyond the lawyers and advertising executives anymore?

      • You do know that he just pointed out that a great deal of other countries have public funding of some form or another, right?

        • Feel free to talk about those other countries on the 36 day campaign.

          Don't forget to mention you and Ignatieff felt Canada did not deserve the UN seat and Canada could learn something from the Human rights record in China too.

          You guys crack me up.

          • The issue was your reading comprehension and the fact your response was so irrelevant as to call your understanding of the original point into question.

          • Stupid two hour post delay!!

          • But the question was about your reading comprehension, since your response was irrelevant to his point.

          • Technical glitches aside, you may feel the liberal party is relevant today as a national alternative. Many of us don't. Feel free to review the political map and the balance sheet.

            Scot is free to talk about other countries and his talking points. You are free to insinuate a lack of reading comprehension. Most Liberals resort to name calling and insults when debating online. Nothing new.

            Salient points to Scott. His leader has nearly 50% of his supporters wanting a leadership change. His party has lost probably $4 million in fundraising in 2010 vs 2009. Ignatieff is faring worse than Dion in year two. Ignatieff trails every leadership Poll behind Layton and does not OWN a single ballot issue.

            Liberals are not viewed as a credible alternative in forming the government. Swapping a few seats with the NDP will not repair the brand. Asking for Bloc, Green and NDP voters to join his party has been tried since 2004.

            The party is running on fumes. Ignatieff has missed the MOST votes in Parliament in 2010. At least 30 MPs from his party have spent the last two years catching the flu, performing Hall Duty or taking a bathroom break during votes.

            Liberals are absent in EVERY sense. A reduction to the John Turner levels may be necessary to rebuild the political party.

  11. The subsidy issue is a 'third rail'. Chretien changed the system, but it didn't hold back the Harper Party from winning. If there's one thing that upsets Canadians most, and can really motivate them, it's the perception of 'fairness'. Canadians don't like it when a hockey referee is one-sided, and they like it even less when they see it from their politicians. Sure, the system is imperfect, but its intention remains largely non-partisan. Mr. Harper assumed wrong once and escaped swift and sudden defeat only by the fact Michaelle Jean was an incredibly weak governor general. As an election issue, this is probably one best to avoid because it's so volatile. Canadians haven't demanded this change, and it's not a burning issue. Best to leave sleeping dogs lie.

    • The opposition parties denied it was the subsidy. Brian Topp's book pointed to the plan was hatched in advance. The Bloc realized the dire straits of losing 72% of their funding. Dion wanted to keep his job. Jack wants a pay raise and a cabinet job.

      The GG granted the Christmas break five days earlier. Parliament met earlier and the Liberals passed the budget. Democracy is working fine.
      If and when the opposition feel they can win an election they will vote no-confidence. To date in five years they have NEVER voted no-confidence. They only threatened under Dion in November 2008.

      • But the fact remains Harper backed off…quickly. He knew he'd made a serious misstep, considering he'd signed letters himself asking for the opportunity to form a coalition, with the Bloq no less! Harpercrite!

        It's really, really rare that a political party gets MORE popular overtime…Ignatieff or not, Harper knows that the risk grows the more time passes. And he has the added burden of understanding better than anyone else that Alberta is likely to throw a hissy fit from now on whenever it doesn't get its way. And as for the CPC, it's handcuffed to western leaders from now on…Baird, Clement, Flaherty all have zero chance of becoming leader once Harper goes back to worshipping the US full-time.

        • I suspect he used it flush out coalition earlier than they were prepared.

          Our Economic update has 3 conditions that were removed after consultation by the opposition. The opposition decided they could take over and avoid an election for 2 years.

          Read Brian Topp's book. Your talking point about the previous letter does not stand up to scrutiny.

          Interesting point about risk and bashing our allies in the US that account for 70% of our exports.

          50% of Liberals want Iggy dumped? No other leader is unpopular amongst his own base. Iggy=John Turner results. Dion will be vindicated.

        • I can only hope your party repeats your talking points.

          1) Gravy Train for political subsidies
          2) Coalition if necessary.
          3) Over crowding in prisons and early release
          4) Raising GST, Carbon, Corporate, EI taxes to pay for new programs and balance the books.
          5) No new F35 or jobs for Canadian aviation industry
          6) UAE is a moderate country and our labour unions should deal with it.

          I look forward to what else "your team brings up in the 36 days during the campaign,

          • Whoa…talk about Talking Points. First, as a small c conservative, I think the fact we do 70%+ of our trade with one customer is a CONDEMNATION of our trade policy, and not an endorsement. Harpertrons like you are too timid to try and change this. The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) should become the BRICC countries by adding Canada, a country that should be emerging from the US shadow due to our obvious strengths…strengths put in place long before the Harper Party took over.

            The reason why progressive conservatives (conservatives with a more broad world view) don't like Harper is because of his obvious petty vindictiveness…not an attractive quality in any political leader. The Harper Party panders to those who readily accept easy answers to complex questions based upon sweeping generalizations on virtually every issue. I don't like Ignatieff either, but five years of Harper has been enough…he hasn't charted a new course, he's instead used ever lever of power at his disposal to attack any and every 'opponent'. As a political strategy, once this runs out of gas there will no longer be a 'conservative' party. The wheel always turns, as much as the current brand of far-right neo-conservative wishes for perpetual power, every bit as much as the Liberals did.

    • Spoken like a true "Liberal" and a "Liberal"/Separatist coalition supporter. I'd be interested to know how forcing me and other Canadians to financially support the Separatist party is as you describe "fairness'. In you're mind it is "fair" to force Canadians to financially support a racist Separatist political movement, whether they want to or not. I believe that is called the reason of unreason.

      • How is the Wild Rose Alliance different than the Bloq? They'll bolt the country every bit as fast as the Bloq if they don't get their way. And since when were Bloq voters not Canadian? I don't support them, and they irritate the heck out of me on any number of levels, but that doesn't mean I want to see Big Government start determining who's a 'good patriot' and who isn't. Do you really want to go there? Seriously, do you understand where that sort of thing can lead to? Do you want the next government to start judging YOUR patriotism?

        And as for coalitions, it's an established Westminster tradition, one that Harper tried to take advantage of himself. Harpercrites! It's fine when he does it, but treasonous when others seek to do the same. And implying he didn't reallly do it just flies in the face of all available evidence…only closet dictators are so quick to re-write history.

  12. If the parties (or rather, one party), were interested in reasonable compromise, the program could be made more responsive by allowing voters to opt out of the subsidy by checking a box at the bottom if they did not want >$2 to go to the party in question.

    Look, I wish every voter ponied up a fiver every year instead of parties being funded by a relatively small number of donors and even smaller number of larger donors. Since for whatever reason that just isn't going to happen, having a portion of funding coming from public money reflecting the votes of the people seems like quite a good idea.

    • I don't agree that it's a good idea but I also know that Harper's stated concern for the expense of the subsidy is transparent rubbish. If the opposition parties were smart (how I wish that they were) they would get ahead of this issue instead of playing defence. Propose that the per-vote subsidy be phased out over time – say 25% per election over the next 4 campaigns – with a corresponding reduction in the campaign spending limits AND a corresponding reduction in the tax deductable portion of individual donations. Take Harper at his word (even though we all know his word his worthless) and make him take the same hit he's trying to put on you. Quit letting Harper hindfoot you and start playing a little offence.

      • I somewhat agree with you. I think the way to cut the CPC off is to plan to keep all forms of subsidy but reduce all of them to an amount more than the $27 million proposed by the Cons. Then you can say things like "Harper wants to cut public subsidies by $27 million, we want to cut them by $40 million." Or "Harper is angry that $2 is allocated to a party – including his own – each time a citizen does his democratic duty and votes. I'm equally angry that every time some oil baron reaches into his pocket and cuts the CPC another cheque for $200, that $150 of that money comes from you and I."

      • That's not a good idea. The opposition parties will be much more successful using the line "the subsidy is necessary to protect democracy".

        I hope they insult our military and the seat loss at the UN again during the campaign. They should brag about how Canada has lost its standing the international affairs too. (These Hill liberal media talking points will go over VERY well)
        The Liberals were right in blocking all Senate reform until they lost control of the Senate. Don't worry we won't see it as entitlements or gravy train posturing.

    • Yeah, you share Chretins idea that Canadians should be forced to pay for the Separatist party along with the "Liberals and NDP because you're a "Liberal" too. If you believe in the "Liberals" and the Separatists so much than you are free to support them with you're own money. I want the freedom to not be forced to pay for political ideologies that I do not agree with, I believe democracy allows for the freedom to choose. This is a "Liberal" law that takes away my freedom to choose as to whether or not I want to financially support a Separatist party.

  13. If Harper is so sincere about not needing public money and not being willing to increase donation limits, how would he feel about running in the next election without the public subsidy?

    • As soon as the Bloc, NDP and Liberals join him in ending the Gravy train. I will join you in calling for more cuts.

      Don't forget to demand the board of Internal economy make available all expenses and business of MPs and Senators public.

      • Please think harder before posting. You have shown trouble grasping what people are saying more than once.

        • Another personal attack. Thanks for proving my point you are a Liberal and losing the argument.

  14. A $50+ billion dollar annual deficit is 'progress'? Oh wait, that must be the opposition's fault, too, despite the fact Flaherty took over with a healthy surplus and tight banking regulations already in place. The US economy is a trainwreck but you want to remain close to it? You don't want to look beyond it to other 'emerging' economies? Talk about selective reasoning…neo-conservatives are globalists so long as it doesn't extend beyond the US.

    Hey, if the Harper Party was so effective, why haven't the poll numbers swung their way more convincingly? They are every bit as stagnant as the Liberal's numbers. Personally, I'd like to see the Liberal Party collapse in favour of a more moderate center-progressive party. But at the same time a Harper majority is scary in the extremem, and they've done nothing to calm people's fears. Flaherty never balanced a budget in Ontario, and quickly turned a surplus into a whopper of a deficit…that is fact. He's also mishandled the national regulator initiative. And while it's easy to say 'we're doing better than everyone else', eight-plus percent unemployment is not acceptable. Five years in and this government is finally saying they want to cut red tape for small businesses…something that won't deliver any recommendations for another two years. Hardly a priority.

    Mr. Harper is not as secure as you think, otherwise he wouldn't be so shy of an election…he doesn't have much to run on in terms of convincing the nation that he should have a majority. The passage of time is the biggest challenge to any sitting government.

  15. "I am enjoying your revisionist history and talking points that are ideological. "

    And what do you call the above diatribe? Only a neo-con would run up a deficit and blame everyone else. "I didn't run over your cat, madam…it was the car that I was driving that ran over your cat!"

    And I love how you keep saying 'excluding Quebec'…how can you? It's a part of Canada! Mulroney won Quebec. Chretien won Quebec, but Harper can't, so therefore it doesn't count. Do you even read what you write? Have you even been to Quebec?

    As for Harris, he burned the tories urban vote and it has never come back. Good luck getting a majority without it. I don't like Dalton either, but I also remember the colossal mess Harris left, as well as Flaherty's COMPLETE LIE that he had balanced the books prior to the election that sent the entire Harris crew packing (Harris had the good sense to get while the getting was good and left it all for Ernie Eves). But wait! That must be someone else's fault too! NDP were only in power for 4 years, but Harris for 8, and still no sign of a balanced budget (during an upswing in global trade, too)…in fact, no real dent in the deficit at all! The Ontario NDP should be blamed for a lot, but that really stretches the bounds of the credulous. Harris was in power for twice as long and during far better global economic conditions.

    At this point, what can one say? To you, Harper never tried to form a coalition himself, never put paid political staffers in front of 24 Sussex for a 'spontaneous' voter demonstration against the coalition, never forced the CMHC in 2007 to approve more high risk mortgages, never said they wouldn't run a deficit, never said that Canada wouldn't feel the effects of the global downturn, never said they wouldn't tax income trusts, etc. etc. etc.

    Now, let fly with your false positive arguments…it's all you've got. The rest is just apologia for a reactionary movement that craves power every bit as much as the Liberals you so earnestly criticize for doing the same.

    • Your cat was not under "your control" and ran onto the road? Yes it was your fault madam. You failed in protecting your cat.

      Did you expect the driver to suspend the physical laws of nature and stop his car beyond the stopping abilities of his brakes? Did the driver mount the sidewalk or your lawn and target the cat? (You should quit trying to defend neo-Liberalism. It has changed from smaller government and personal responsibility)

      You are greatly Confused by stating the Liberals WON Quebec. Liberals held 36/75 seats in Quebec during a divided right. That is 48% of the seats. (Last majority 177 seats in 2000)

      You consider votes in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta not equal to those in PEI or Quebec? Again who is blocking Democratic reform and for what purpose are those seats being delayed?

      I remember Bob Rae slamming the Federal Liberal cuts. I remember the Public Unions turning on the our Premier. (Hey knucklehead I voted for Bob Rae he was my MPP)
      You seem to have this idea a government can erase a deficit in two or three years without drastic cuts. ( Nice theory)

      I have NO problem with many voters not voting for our PM they have several options on the ballot. The problem your left leaning liberals have is accepting the mandate from the General elections results and delaying the seats outside QC.

      If and when a re-balancing is done with voters out West and Ontario having fairer representation you are Free to pedal you political welfare for the opposition parties.

      I expect the NEXT general election to provide you and your friends with a reality check for their political coup attempt in November 2008. I have CONFIDENCE in the voters and their wisdom.

      I do NOT fear a rebuke at the official poll. I did not try to secure a two deal with the Separatists and expect no "payback" from the rest of Canada.

      The ballot question is very basic: A majority led by our PM or led by Ignatieff propped up with NDP and Separatists.

      Don't worry be happy, I am confident the left won't collapse as they did in New Brunswick, Toronto or the Mid terms in the United States.

      • Nice deflect!

        One more time: "Harris was in power for twice as long and during far better global economic conditions." He still didn't deal with the defiicit. Flaherty is a failure…today he announced a tightening of mortgage rules he himself put in place just a few years ago, despite many warnings against making the changes in the first place.

        As for Bob Rae, I have met him, his heart is in the right place, but he needs to retire….just like Flaherty. Good intentions and a buck twenty-five get you a coffee and nothing else.

        Peace and Amen.

        • Nice try, I have voted Liberal, NDP and now Conservative. Never voted for Reform or for Brian Mulroney's PC.

          The post was about how the left is desperate to maintain their political welfare subsidy. You and many on the left have used it to attack our Federal Government, Mike Harris.

          I am confident the $ 300 million in welfare subsidy payments to the political class is defensible. I wish Jack, Gilles, Elizabeth and Michael the best of luck!

          I hope Dalton does run against the Mike Harris track record. I am confident the voters will reward him accordingly.

          You can defend the billions wasted under McGuinty for his boondoggles. You can also brag about the Toronto G20 mass arrest response.

          The billions to Samsung for giant bird choppers and removal of powers in municipal government to block these Giant Fans is going over very well. I think raising rates for hydro is a great vote winner! Keep up the Liberal list of excellent government.

          I was really impressed after the media, left-Liberals piled on and attacked John Tory for extending equal funding to all religious minorities in education. (That was classic Liberalism)

          I am confident Ontario voters will be sending a clear message to the Provincial Liberals in October.

  16. Harper undermining,
    It seems just a short time ago that Stephen Harper tried to pull the same trickery and attempt to bankrupt his opposition and all other parties. That was received by a vote of No-Confidence in the house and led Mr Harper to plea at the steps of the Governor General and ask to suspend democracy, AKA prorogue parliament. The cost of these subsidies has so little to do with fiscal accountability and budgetary prudence then it has to do with his strategic long term political goal of crippling opposition parties through bankrupting them. It would impact every party but conveniently the Conservatives would be impacted the least. This action would take us backwards years in respect to valuable election finance reform that levelled the playing field and loosened the grasp of OUR democratic process from the reigns of big industry when voters were disenchanted to vote. The subsidy encourages the growth of organic democratic involvement based on the fact that it makes everyone's vote count. Also, we can't neglect that this would likely lead to a Supreme court challenge and likely result in a ruling to allow trade unions, corporations and lobbyists to donate to parties again in order to substitute for missing per-vote subsidy. If not for any other reason wouldn't you like to know that when you mark down an ‘X' on the ballot, you have also given the party of YOUR choice a little support in order to join the debate. A $1.95 for an ‘X' is fair market value if it equates to an open and even democratic system, one that is currently the envy of many other countries.

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