Just imagine in Canada, we are taxed to pay for the activities of our national political parties. Canadian taxpayers are on the hook for all politicos – paying for both MPs who represent our point of view and those who don’t – and even for Bloc MPs who are only interested in getting a bigger hunk of flesh from “Body Canada” for Quebecois. This practice amounts to state-sanctioned pick-pocketing. Since 2004, when former PM Jean Chretien and his Liberal band of “Nottingham sheriffs” decreed it law, we’ve all been paying for the shenanigans on Parliament Hill.
FACT: In 2010, the total cost to taxpayers was $27.4 million.
Here are some more facts on the party subsidy as reported in the Hill Times:
In 2010 five parties received $27.4-million from the per vote subsidies. The Conservatives received $10.4-million; the Liberals received $7.3-million; the NDP received $5.0-million ; the Bloc Québécois received $2.8-million; and the Green Party received $1.9-million.
Compare the per vote subsidies to the amounts raised by direct donations from individuals to the parties. The Elections Canada’s website indicates that in 2009 (the latest full year available), the Bloc Québécois raised $834,762; the Conservatives raised $17,770,477, the Greens raised $1,166,874 ; the Liberals raised $10,120,312 and the NDP raised $4,039,104 (The Hill Times, March 29, 2010).The total equals $33.94-million.
With the most recent adjustment for inflation, the per vote subsidy was raised $2.04 per year for 4Q 2010.
These facts are important to tuck away in our memory for this whole issue is soon to be a central point of argument and, possibly, a federal election issue. (ed. – Given our disdain for this subsidy, full marks go to PM Stephen Harper and his persistence in wishing to cut the taxpayer per vote subsidies to political parties!)
The By George Journal will follow this argument as it is presented to the public in the months to come. To review the facts of the matter, we recommend W.T. Stanbury’s column in the Hill Times – “Comparing the per-vote subsidies to all federal political subsidies”