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Canadians support their political parties economically as each vote a party receives is worth two dollars.  Also in Canada we have a First Past the Post federal electoral system which often favours larger more established parties, so when you throw your vote away voting for a electoral long shot (any other party than the conservatives here in Alberta) then at the very least, the party will receive some financial backing.

“The Chrétien government created the per-vote direct subsidy in 2004, when it banned corporate donations to parties and limited contributions to ridings or candidates to $1,000 per year. Individual donations were capped at $5,000, down from $10,000.

In 2006, the new Harper government dropped the individual limit to $1,000 (adjusted to inflation; it was $1,100 in 2010 and 2011) and imposed a complete ban on donations from corporations, unions and organizations.”

The public funding of parties is a good thing, it (at least on the surface) keeps some of the corporate money out of the electoral process.  I look at the recent money = free speech decision by the SCOTUS and shudder as the political corruption Olympics ascend to even a greater level in our neighbour to the South.   And of course Steven Harper want to get rid of this nod to democracy:

“Harper, who has long opposed the $2-per-vote subsidy, said political parties enjoy “enormous tax advantages” even without the additional subsidy and taxpayers should not financially support political parties that they don’t support with their votes.

“I’ve wanted to change this. But we were very clear: unless we have a majority government we will never attempt to change it because we know in a minority government you can never move this forward,” Harper said.

Harper tried to scrap the funds in 2008, a move that led to a revolt by all three opposition parties.”

Not particularly surprising given the Conservative’s general contempt of the democratic and parliamentary processes.

Given the polls right now, it looks like we are heading for another minority situation although I am hoping that the numbers support a Coalition of the Liberals and the NDP because we need a change from the reckless, ideological based course we have been  frogmarched down these last couple of years.

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