Towards a mature democracy


John Mraz makes the case for eliminating so-called ten-percenters.

Last year, Stephen Harper proposed to eliminate the $1.95 per vote subsidy. Harper claimed the majority of Canadians did not want to pay that piper. Flush as the Conservatives were with capital, it would also have put his party at an immediate advantage, hampered other parties’ abilities to compete, and made it almost impossible for new parties to emerge. Canadians would have suffered a diminished political landscape ruled by parties that managed to find favour with the monied classes. But electoral brinksmanship ensued, and the subsidy remains.

If Harper is indeed serious about eliminating public funding for partisan purposes, he might begin by eliminating the “ten percenters.” And if the Liberals and New Democrats are serious about democratic principles, they should support him. Canadians would never even notice, nor would our political forum be weakened. In any case, all parties should desist from using the parliamentary press to political advantage. It is there to inform, not persuade.  And “If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em” is no principle to live by in an ethical discourse.


Towards a mature democracy

  1. Get rid of the 10 percenters?

    Yes please. all of them. Every party. Right now.

    They were intended to be informational mailings. Clearly, that is now what they are being used for.

  2. I totally agree; rid of us this scourge. All parties, sit up and listen — we don't read them, if we did, we wouldn't decide where to place our vote from them, and we don't like you using our hard-earned money to send this tripe.

    While you're at it, quite advertising our own programs to us too. Especially those that haven't yet become law.

  3. I say both get rid of the subsidy and the 10% as well as the tax deduction to the party – make it a completely party based membership support system from individuals only and with an on line poll showing every contribution and by whom with the present maximum in otherowrds a completely open and grassroot membership system – just my 2 cents! – as well I would suggest that for advertising and promotion CPAC could be used to a much greater degree allowing that all the parties to place their ad's in rotating time slots on a regular basis and from which the commercial media could access for the spin doctors to work with and as well get rid of the cameras on QP as it has destroyed the meaning of the term or change the name to – don't ever a actually ask a question unless it is barley covered up with an accustaion and certainly don't ever answer the accusationquestion – this is just plain silly theatre really.

  4. Yessssssss! That would be the greatest thing ever! They make me so angry. I usually send them back to Parliament with witty little comments calling the parties on their BS.

    • Oh you and me both! Although my comments have probably been more rude than actually witty, in retrospect.
      Either way, straight into the bin, I'm sure.

  5. Anyone know what the source of the ten-percenter rule is?

    • The by-laws of the Board of Internal Economy?