Someone should do something about this -

Someone should do something about this


Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Announces Fourth Quarter Allowances Paid to Registered Political Parties

OTTAWA, ONTARIO— Jan. 5, 2009 – The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Marc Mayrand, announced today that the payment of the allowances that qualified registered parties are entitled to receive for the fourth quarter has been made.

A registered party that obtained at least 2 percent of all valid votes cast at a general election or at least 5 percent of the valid votes cast in the electoral districts in which it ran a candidate in a general election is eligible for a quarterly allowance.

Each registered party that is eligible for the allowance will receive a quarterly payment that is equivalent to $0.4375 per valid vote it obtained in the most recent general election preceding the quarter for which the payment is being made.

The quarterly allowances for the period from October 1, 2008, to December 31, 2008, were calculated based on the number of votes that parties received in the 39th general election held on January 23, 2006, multiplied by the inflation adjustment factor of 1.116 that is in effect for the period from April 1, 2008, to March 31, 2009.
Political party                    Payment amount
Bloc Quebecois                        $758,350.39
Conservative Party of Canada        $2,623,890.17
Green Party of Canada                 $324,231.20
Liberal Party of Canada             $2,187,074.37
New Democratic Party                $1,264,370.74

Additional information on annual allowances for political parties is available at

Elections Canada is an independent body set up by Parliament.
For more information, please contact
Elections Canada
Media Relations

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Someone should do something about this

  1. Interesting Andrew. What do you think should be done about this?

  2. I think this is a sample of Potter’s sometimes-too-subtle humour.

    • Sometimes-too-subtle by half. I demand blantant humour!

      • I demand tags in the next html version.

        • sarcasm /sarcasm.

          heh. engine is swallowing it with the greaterthan lesserthans.

  3. Those numbers seem massive for the value that we receive from the parties. A million here, a million there, all so parties can employ legions of consultants, pollsters, advisers and the like who do little except irritate me when I see them on the Newman’s broaadcaaast or Duffy. It’s too bad that no one has the brass ones to rescind public funding for parties and let them raise their own money.

    That reminds me, does anyone know if ctv is replacing Duffy or if his show is gone for good?

    I was also wondering if Marc Mayrand announced if Dion has paid off his campaign debts yet or have the Libs thrown their dear leader under the bus and left him to fend for himself.

    • let them raise their own money.

      And will they promise then to stop employing the legions of consultants, pollsters, advisers and the like? Not bloody likely.

      I’ve got a different plan. Make all political party funding public and eliminate private donations altogether. Let them compete on the appeal of their ideas and not on their…*gag*…brands. We’ve already got more than enough of that than is likely good for us.

      • “Make all political party funding public and eliminate private donations altogether.”


        • “Make all political party funding private and eliminate public funding altogether”


      • Oops. I might have panicked Joan Tintor up there.

        Don’t worry. You can always get a job in print journalism.

      • “Let them compete on the appeal of their ideas and not on their…*gag*…brands.”

        I agree with the sentiment but I think you got it backwards. Parties=brands during elections but raising money privately means you have to get your supporters excited about what you are doing, which would involve ideas and policies.

        • Private funds + excited supporters =ideas and policies maybe or,
          private funds+ excited supporters = potential for demogoguery and opportunisim.
          Evidence: SH appeal for funding to defeat deal with devil.

        • I don’t get the impression that that’s what parties have been doing of late. Rather, they (or rather the political industry) has been goading supporters into considering donations like they’re votes themselves and the media and others have been dutifully reporting fundraising levels as some sort of indicator of party success/popularity.

          It’s not good for democracy…we’ve seen in the US where all the money leads; to overlong campaigns that serves only the political industry that lead to disastrous administrations that then require even more money to be delivered from.

          Besides, look at what they’re doing with the money: insulting propaganda campaigns, suspicious polls and the proliferation of…*gag*…party swag. And really, the effort on their part is minimal….how much does it cost to put up a web site and a donate button? As I’ve said before, the whole thing can be run a PC located in Bangalore.

          • Forgive all the bad grammar in that comment. I’m still recovering from the flu.

          • We are already seeing commenters confusing party motivation=public money when i was under the impression it was always votes however tawdry that can get. I guess the logical conclusion of all this will be votes being sold or why not put parties on the tsx.

      • I’m with you. Let’s not turn political parties into fund raising hucksters, giving them even more money to ponce on our tvs and airwaves is unthhinkable.

      • One might say (and I think Coyne has said it before, repeatedly) that the reliance on public funding has inhibited a party like the Liberals from formulating policy planks and principles that genuinely inspire their supporters to part with their cash – even when they would get $3 of every $4 back at tax return time (for the first $400 of course).

        • and a stunning wide array of policies they will be when every party in the country is reduced to scrapping for the affections of the bourgoise.

          • Scrapping? I forget where I read it, but I saw a blog that showed that if just 1 in every 500 Liberal Party members kicked in the full amount allowed ($1100), that they would recoup more than their combined take from PF and private fundraising from last year.

            One has to ask, was there any independent study that recommended $1.75/vote as the starting point, or was that figure just plucked from the air? Why not $1.00/vote?

          • “I forget where I read it, but I saw a blog that showed that if just 1 in every 500 Liberal Party members kicked in the full amount allowed ($1100), that they would recoup more than their combined take from PF and private fundraising from last year.”

            last year’s income statement hasn’t been released yet of the one for ’07 has.

            x/500*$1,100 = $13,252,597

            x = 6,023,908 members????

            you forgot because its worth forgetting.

        • I’m probably just slow but how does PF prevent the libs from coming up with new ideas. It might be more honest to say that PF ties you moe closely to what yr donors want you to do. Admittedly limitting the size of those donors helps with that problem.

          • stupid 1public 2 private.

          • It doesn’t *prevent* them, but it doesn’t give any incentive to do so either. If they know that the money will be coming in regularly for the next 4-5 years (if this were a majority Parliament, say), where’s the incentive to connect with the electorate, and gauge where the mood of that electorate might be? Money shouldn’t be the only driver of political parties, but neither should it be a demotivating force.

          • There’s this thing we do called voting, KRB. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

          • KRB
            Lets see as things stand now you contend that the motivating force of politicians to get to Ottawa is public money. I don;t think that core conservative policy or liberal for that matter is much influenced by where the money comes from under the present system. The potential for abuse is higher with private and transparency with public.

        • I wonder if there is any way to glean the information on those. I mean, we know what the ‘public’ public funding portion is, per Andrew’s post. But what is the ‘private’ public funding amount? I was shocked and frankly, dismayed when I discovered how much money my fellow taxpayers were kicking in when I made the decision to donate to a political party. I didn’t ask you, you didn’t get a vote, but you paid more than I did. This, to me, is FAR more disturbing than every party gets $0.43 per vote at the last election. At least then one can make the claim that my vote’s .43 cents is coming out of my tax funds, and yours from yours. And if you didn’t vote, you get to put .43 cents more into housing, the military, whatever.

    • oh please. If a private corporation had the same budget to deal with as the government these parties are supposed to be running the CEO alone would take that home in bonuses.

      • Private firms are free to spend their money how they see fit.

        Public money has been taken from taxpayers and should be used to provide useful services, not employing parasitical wankers.

        • So do you also believe jwl, that private firms should be allowed to write-off the costs (donations, lobbying, entertainment) incurred trying to influence government?

          • I believe there should be a flat tax rate which would mean all these write offs would be eliminated. But since that’s just a dream, I am definitely against write offs for expenses incurred trying to influence government. Companies can try to influence policy if they want but they should have to pay for it in full.

        • I’d say affording the freedom to measure popular appeal in terms of people and not dollars has its utility.

        • “Parasitical wanker” is that the official conservative take on govt?

          • Not sure if that’s the official line, will have to check, but it certainly is my definition of Government, the services it provides and the people it employees.

          • I didn’t know you worked for the government, jwl.

  4. Yeah! some folks are proclaiming. More fair trade goods shipped in from all over the world for the twice delayed Elizabeth May Pictou County Party Convention, sometime later this year.

  5. Hope this doesn’t screw up too badly

    Political party Payment amount % seats by subsidy Vote share seats by % vote Actual seats
    Bloc Quebecois $758,350.39 10.59 33 9.97 31 49
    Conservative Party $2,623,890.17 36.66 113 37.63 116 143
    Green Party of Canada $324,231.20 4.53 14 6.80 21 0
    Liberal Party of Canada $2,187,074.37 30.55 94 26.24 81 77
    New Democratic Party $1,264,370.74 17.66 54 18.20 56 37
    Independant and other 0 0.00 0 1.16 4 2

    $7,157,916.87 100.00 308 100.00 308 308

  6. Political party………Payment amount…%…….% seats….% vote
    …………………………………………by subsidy………..proportion…..Actual
    Bloc Quebecois………….$758,350.39…10.59…….33……9.97……..31………49
    Conservative Party…….$2,623,890.17…36.66……113…..37.63…….116……..143
    Green Party of Canada……$324,231.20….4.53…….14……6.80……..21……….0
    Liberal Party of Canada..$2,187,074.37…30.55…….94…..26.24……..81………77
    New Democratic Party…..$1,264,370.74…17.66…….54…..18.20……..56………37
    Independant and other…………….0….0.00……..0……1.16………4……….2

    …Vote share from www cbc ca news canadavotes

  7. doug rogers, what are you trying to show? Elections Canada used the results from the Jan. 23rd, 2006 election for the quarterly allowance that has just been paid (b/c it started Oct. 1st). The next quarterly payment will use the Oct. 14, 2008 election results for the allowance calculation.

    • I guess you can look at the change in seats by some kind of proportional representation.

      CPC is over-represented by seats, proportion of vote is negligibly up, with 30 ‘unsubsidized’ seats by proportion;

      The Bloc is over-represented, proportion of vote is down. They are over-subsidized by proportion.

      Why the 2 to 3 year lag?

      What am I trying to show? I though it might be interesting to see the seats of the commons if they might be allocated by that subsidy proportion. That’s all….

  8. %Political party………Payment amount…%…….% seats….% vote
    …………………………………………by subsidy………..proportion…..Actual
    Bloc Quebecois………….$758,350.39…10.59…….33……9.97……..31………49
    Conservative Party…….$2,623,890.17…36.66……113…..37.63…….116……..143
    Green Party of Canada……$324,231.20….4.53…….14……6.80……..21……….0
    Liberal Party of Canada..$2,187,074.37…30.55…….94…..26.24……..81………77
    New Democratic Party…..$1,264,370.74…17.66…….54…..18.20……..56………37
    Independant and other…………….0….0.00……..0……1.16………4……….2

    …Vote share from www cbc ca news canada votes%

  9. Hmmmm. Textile codes don’t work. The table can be deciphered however. Perhaps a meaningless comparison.

    seats by
    proportion of subsidy / %vote / actual =
    CPC seats…..113 / 116 / 143
    Liberal seats…94 / 81 / 77
    NDP seats ……54 / 56 / 37
    Bloc seats ……33 / 31 / 49
    Green seats …14 / 21 / 0

    • Uh, you do realize that the amount of the subsidy is determined by vote percentage, right?

      • Uh, yea…. I assume that is apportioned in the table Andrew posted.

  10. One problem with any policy involving strictly government funding of parties is allocation. Give every registered party the same amount? I doubt anyone will argue for that. By the proportion of popular vote? Is it really healthy to give the winning party an advantage in funds that the opposition cannot legally match? How does a new party get funded? How can an independent candidate get funding?

    • i don’t think anyones advocating banning private funding altogether.

  11. Well, if the subsidy is being apportioned by 2006 results, the change against present proportion is interesting

    ……………2006 / 2008

    Bloc……10.59 / 9.97
    CPC……36.66 / 37.63
    GPC……..4.53 / 6.80
    LPC……30.55 / 26.44
    NDP…..17.66 / 18.20

  12. I see three problems with the idea of eliminating public funding of political parties.

    One is that parties with more extreme political views are more likely to be enthusiastically funded than those that are more moderate. There aren’t many fanatical centrists around.

    Two is that parties whose policies tend to favour the wealthy will have a distinct advantage over parties that don’t. (I would hazard a guess that the average Conservative supporter has a higher annual income than the average NDP supporter.) And do you really want to force the poor to have to save up to buy their democracy?

    Three is that voters who don’t vote for the same party every election aren’t fairly represented. This is especially true of voters who don’t like one particular party but don’t have a clear preference between two or three others. Should they just pick one and donate?

    • Stop making sense, Dave.

    • One – this is patently absurd – see Obama, Barack.

      Two – this is wrong too. Again and again and again people do not necessarily vote in their economic self interest. Joe the plumber votes Republican. Toronto (including Rosedale) votes Liberal or NDP. I don’t love the idea of contribution limits (as long as all conrtibutions are public) but would comprise on it before I would on public financing.

      Three – I believe you are confusing voting with fundraising.

  13. Partially reimbursing election spending (as long as it is done legitimately and not with schemes cooked up simply to maximize the flow of public funds) and allocating funds per vote seem like reasonably fair ways to support our multiparty system. I’m more interested in looking at the costs associated with the inflated credits for political donations. Why should these be treated better than charitable donations?

    It is a small fraction of Canadians who donate to political parties, and the overly-generous tax subsidy shifts public funds based on this tiny group. I’d bring this in line with other tax credits and, if necessary, increase either the election spending reimbursement or the per vote subsidy to compensate.

    • Hear hear.

  14. How about we raise the amount of the public subsidy slightly, like say to $5.00 per vote per year. Then, we eliminate the tax breaks on political party donations altogether. The donation limit could stay the same–or rise slightly, to say $1,500 per year per person.

    I like the fact that the public subsidy is tied to the vote and not to the seat. That way, one could feel one’s vote does make a difference, even if you are a contrarian in an overwhelmingly partisan riding. Also, the public subsidy is something with a definite limit. As a taxpayer, I’m against having tax policy that nobody has any idea how much it could ultimately cost. For example, we have 23.4 million eligible voters as of the 2008 election. We have no idea how many of those eligible will actually vote at any given election, but we do know it can’t be more than 23.4 million (or whatever the number is at the next election). Therefore, at $5.00 per vote, it CANNOT be more than $117 million, and will most likely be a fair bit less than that. (Currently, the upper limit would be $40.95 million of which we’re actually paying $28.63 million.)

    On the other hand, I don’t think you need to be on the voters list to donate to a political party. The point being I can’t absolutely reduce the number down below the 33.5 million the population clock says we’re currently at. So potentially, we are looking at a bill of $27,637,500,000. (33.5 million x $1,100 x 75%). This is worse-case scenario of course, and it is likely closer to $17,550,000 (200,000 donators at $117. each on average x 75%) but I find the very thought that our seventeen million dollar outlay could conceivably explode to 27 Billion scary, to put it mildly.

    • Interesting idea. But you’re against a $27 billion/year political culture? Just think of the attack ads, it would be an enormous carnival of smearing and ad hominem jabs, the mere echo of which would make our descendants tremble ten centuries hence. What’s not to like?

  15. Hmmm….certain magazines and certain journalists/opinion bellyache about public funding of anything all the while certain magazines receive public funding by taxpayers.

    A little hypocritical wouldn’t you say?

  16. Just in case the “awaiting moderation” link disappears into virtual limbo somewhere, Gloria Galloway has an interesting story in today’s Globe about this issue. More interesting if you read it through to the end.

  17. The problem with dependency on per-vote funding is that it can render opposition parties in minority governments toothless – too short-funded – to threaten a government defeat and too weak to contest the next election – which is likely to be sooner than usual – effectively. While the threat is idle, the minority government is practically a majority. So much for the marketplace of unfettered ideas some of you imagine. Has reliance on per-vote funding made the Liberals more or less effective in opposition?

    • I don’t know, but it has clearly made them less effective at fundraising.

  18. I think somebody did try to do something about this and what happened – the Coalition!!!! Yes, threaten political parties to cut them off from the public teat and they threaten a constitutional crisis.