I already knew (as no doubt many of you did, too) that the Bloc is more dependent on the subsidies than any other party. The Tories rely on these per-vote payments for about 40% of their annual party operating funds, the NDP for not quite 60%, the Liberals for around 70% and the Bloc for between 85% and 90%.But let's not forget - per-vote subsidies to political parties is just the tip of the iceberg. There's also election expenses reimbursement (as much as 50% for parties and candidates that meet a certain threshold) and generous tax credits for political party contributions.
There’s an irony for you. The one party in Parliament committed to breaking up the country is also the most reliant on the generosity of hardworking Canadian taxpayers. (Perhaps that’s not an irony so much as it’s an outrage.)
Last year the Tories received $10.4 million from taxpayers through the scheme administered by Elections Canada. The Liberals were given $7.3 million, the New Democrats $5 million, the Bloc Quebecois $2.8 million and the Greens $1.9 million.
The CHP proposal to let each one specify on his tax return whether he wants to direct his $2 to a political party or to a special education fund administered by Elections Canada, is merely a cosmetic solution. In my opinion, handouts to political parties should end in every form there is. The government's role should be limited to setting and enforcing the rules, it must ensure that there are no cash-stuffed briefcases or donations from entities that use someone else's money involved. But the funding should come from individual contributors. Subsidizing incumbency, refunding election expenses and matching one's donation 3:1 - that better be stopped.
P.S. Here's a great article by Ezra Levant:
Fewer than one in 100 Canadians donate to a federal political party.What he said.
It’s not surprising, considering the low esteem in which most Canadians hold politicians. And a political party is not a charity, even though a political donation receives a more generous tax treatment than a charitable one does.
But no matter. In 2004, the Liberal Party amended the Elections Act to force all Canadians to donate to political parties through their taxes.
Sure beats having to go door-to-door earning support one cheque at a time.
The Conservatives lost control of the issue last time. They should take control this time and make abolishing the handout a central plank of their looming 2011 election platform.