04 October 2011

Subsidising political parties should be...

...a choice... not a tax...

-- OTTAWA -- The Harper government on Tuesday introduced legislation to scrap direct taxpayer subsidies for federal political parties. The move, to be implemented over three years, will eventually save nearly $30 million annually.

The public subsidies were first introduced by the Chretien government in 2003.
You wanna financially support the political party of your choice... it should be a choice. Taxing me to further the agenda of the NDP... or the Bloc... is adding insult to injury.


RELATED: I am a Bonehead.ca
halls of macadamia/You ever wonder how many of our tax dollars these guys spend on frivolous stuff like this?


Ted Betts said...

"You wanna financially support the political party of your choice... it should be a choice. Taxing me to further the agenda of the NDP... or the Bloc... is adding insult to injury."

But taxing the rest of us to further the agenda of the Conservatives, is a-ok, I guess? Only Conservatives are entitled to their entitlements. Hey, why else did they want a majority after all?

You don't like the per vote subsidy. Fair enough. Neither do I actually.

But that's a drop in the bucket compared to the many other taxpayer subsidies that the Conservatives won't touch because they depend on them. That's MY money.

* the tax credit subsidy is far worse than the per vote subsidy in EVERY way: far more expensive, FAR less democratic, hurts charities, means non-Canservatives are subsidizing Conservatives, but (surprise surprise surprise) it benefits the Cons more than any other party.

* the expenses rebate (the taxpayer entitlement the Cons are fighting criminal charges over in court and losing). Even forgetting the fact that the Cons are facing criminal charges for breaking the law on this, does it make any sense to have a system that allows a politician to spend my money and then get most of it back, again from taxpayer dollars? Again this is more expensive than the per vote subsidy and again the Cons have abused this taxpayer funded entitlement far far more than others and again you won't hear a peep about it by the Cons.

* About 80% of Conservative funds comes from the taxpayer subsidies, compared to about 69% for Liberals. By eliminating the per vote subsidy, the Conservative dependence on tax subsidies is greater.

* The Conservatives cost taxpayers $8.11 per vote, Liberals $7.75 per vote.

* Tories took in $54.4 million in 2009, only $10.5 million of that was from actual donors (after tax credits)

* And here's the real killer: while only 36% of voting Canadians (and only 22% of eligible voters) supported the Conservatives in the last election, the CONSERVATIVE PARTY RECEIVED 44% OF ALL TAXPAYER SUBSIDIES. Total taxpayer subsidies was approximately $100 million. The Liberals received only 28% of all taxpayer subsidies, which is more in line with their 30% of the vote; the NDP got 20% of the subsidies; the Bloc got 8%.

The list goes on and on.

The bottom line is that the Cons are the most subsidized party BY FAR. And they are absolute self-serving hypocrites that care not one single bit about OUR money.

That's actually not true: they care very much about OUR money: they want as much of it as they possibly can so they keep themselves in power (and fly around on fishing trips using emergency rescue helicopters, get VIP tickets to hockey games, get gold embossed business cards, pass slush fund money around to their Muskoko friends, etc).

If you think you got something better than Chretien, think again. You got Chretien without any scruples or fiscal discipline.

Neo Conservative said...

sorry, ted... whatever anyone might say... i honestly believe this is a step in the right direction.

are you really gonna try sell the party of adscam & shawinigate as the answer to all our problems? that teflon jean chretien, who conveniently jumped into the lap of his corporate backers to shill canada to the chinese, is someone to be admired?

it's past time to take a stand. and this is a good place to begin.

how about we also go after those gold-plated, fully indexed (seven times better than the private sector) mp pensions that kick in after only six years of service. the tax free expenses & allowances that these guys vote themselves?

the fact is, the whole system needs to be revamped.

and if you really think stephen harper is the worst offender here, i'd say you're either delusional... or an irredeemable, partisan sock-puppet...

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper's expenses came to $281,255.67, compared to Liberal Leader's Michael Ignatieff's $570,984.10."

And what about their socialist colleagues?

"NDP Leader Jack Layton racked up the highest expense account despite being the leader of the smallest party. Layton billed taxpayers for $628,913.68."

"MP Olivia Chow, who isn't a party leader, knows how to party nonetheless... $530,304.73."

honestly, ted... don't you get tired of your knee-jerk responses to anything you read here?

you blithely toss out the phrase "entitled to their entitlements". tell us, ted... who originally used that phrase?

and that, my friend, is not a rhetorical question.


Ted Betts said...

Ah, classic, neo. Bait and switch.

Harper's great because... well, I didn't like the other guy.

I actually have said nothing praiseworthy of Chretien and yes, fiscally speaking, I totally think Harper is worse than Chretien. Without question. There really is no doubt. He has increased spending in every single budget and set a spending record in every single budget, while Chretien and Martin (with a big assist to Mulroney and Wilson) reduced spending and eliminated the deficit.

"and this is a good place to begin."

And that's my point. You may think it is a good place to begin. Harper thinks that, now he thinks he has knee-capped the opposition, it's time to stop.

The end of this subsidy has nothing to do with fiscal conservativism and everything to do with politics. I'm stunned that anyone, the whole soft-on-conservatives media as well, continues to buy into this BS.

As for the silly comparing spending, that's another example of how easy the media goes on the Conservatives. That number doesn't even look at the PMO expenses under which most of Harper's travel expenses are put. Which is proper - not saying he's doing anything improper here or overspending - but you just can't compare these numbers. Especially without any context. I know you get that Neo. I know you're smart enough.

Neo Conservative said...

ah, classic, ted. bait and switch.

again, my friend... you blithely toss out the phrase "entitled to their entitlements".

tell us, ted... who originally used that phrase?


Susanne said...

deryingsThe Liberals that's who.

And die hard (harder svp) Liberal Ted, also knows that it was the Liberals who granted the 75% write-off for political donations. Charities suffer indeed. The prevailing view was that the 75% was necessary in order to over- incenticize the donor citizen to participate in the political process. Or continue to ignore the politics. Tough slogging out there eh Tedd? Even with the 75% write-off, Canadians simply have had enough of Liberal entitlements and palpable corruption. It's not about the Liberal Party Ted, it is about Canada and Canadians. So thank you Mr. Harper for following through, to begin erasing the $2.04per vote subsidy to separatists, socialists and nanny-state, corrupt, self-entitled Liberals.
Liberals alone have destroyed the Liberal Party of Canada Ted. And that is real axe to grind. Stop blaming everyone else.

Frances said...

Ted - I don't see the problem you present. Okay, a person giving the maximum of $1275 will get back $650. That's it. And how many taxpapers give the maximum allowable, either federally or provincially?

And where is proof for your assertion that charities are being hurt by this system? Chez nous, charitable giving far outstrips anything to political parties, and we aren't alone. I've known people who give sacrificially, living simple lives while donating to various causes.

Personally, I'd like to see the political tax credit calculated on the same basis as the charitable one, but I'm not getting bent out of shape because it's not.

BTW, if memory serves, one of the largest contributors out Alberta way was a woman who gave thousands to the NDP.

I would like to see

George said...

My question is why it takes three years. How about tomorrow!

Neo Conservative said...

"ted parrots... I know you get that Neo. I know you're smart enough."

oh, ted... you're not still smarting from that last little dance you & i did, are you?

"if you were just one of the regular 'heil hudak' trolls... i wouldn't even bother replying... but, ted... you're smarter than that. lose the simple me thing & try again, okay?


Ted Betts said...


"I don't see the problem you present."

It has nothing to do with giving the maximum. If you donate $100 to the Conservatives, you get $75 back so it costs you only $25, but the Conservatives still get $100. Where do you think the $75 comes from? All other taxpapers. This is a far bigger tax subsidy than the per vote subsidy and it is far less democratic because it is not in any way tied to voting.

"And where is proof for your assertion that charities are being hurt by this system?"

As also noted by one of the rabid blindly hyper-partisan Susanne above, it does hurt charities. Canadians are working hard and only have so much money to give and we pay a lot of taxes - not as much as most in the world, including the US, but enough that we can't just throw our money around. The government gives you a bigger incentive to donate to political parties than to charities.

You and I agree that politicians should not be given a greater advantage. I'd rather see them get the same credit as for charities: fifty percent.

The bigger point is that it is still a taxpayer subsidy. So claiming a principled stand on parties should only use money they can raise and not tax dollars is not principled if you aren't criticizing this too.

Ted Betts said...

Still dancing to old tunes, Neo?

There's a new DJ, my friend.

(And nice avoidance again. You are indeed a master dodger. You'd make John Baird so proud.)

Ted Betts said...

Sorry, Neo, thought this got posted but seems to have not been so re-posting in reponse to your "comment" at 1:54pm.


I take your silence on the subject of your post and my comments, and your attempt once again to bait and switch, to be acceptance of the facts about Harper as I laid them out. Good for you. There's hope for you yet. A little.

As for your question (is that the smoke part or the mirror part?), David Dingwall said it, obviously. And while politically dumb dumb dumb, he was technically right. You sign a contract - a binding legal document - that says you have a right to certain benefits and things, well then, you are legally and technically entitled to them. Just like the former head of Hydro that Harris appointed. But we're not allowed to talk about HER, because she has the good fortune to be married to the idiot-boy/frat boy running for Premier. I don't blame Dingwall for his entitlements or feeling entitled to them (after all he turned Canada Post around and made it profitable), but the politicians for giving out these plums. Mulroney did it. Harris did it. Chretien did it. Harper is, as in everything, outdoing them all and would make Trudeau proud.

Anonymous said...

What George said!!!

Rob C

Anonymous said...

With the per vote subsidy, you are only supporting the Bloc if you voted for them, or you didn't vote. 1 vote, 1 toony.
With the tax credit, you are helping support the bloc if anyone claims the credit for supporting them.

The best part of the per vote subsidy is that it allows me to keep it a secret who I voted for. Look at the tire slashings of Liberal supporters in Toronto. Next you'll see breakins and theft of lists that will be handed out to vigilante stormtroopers.

Neo Conservative said...

"ted betts crows... to be acceptance of the facts about Harper as I laid them out"

see, ted... you don't even need me... you can supply both sides of the conversation.

but, then... in tedworld it always comes back to, "because i say so."

but again, and again, my friend, i have to say... you blithely toss out the phrase "entitled to their entitlements".

tell us, ted... who originally used that phrase?

that's the third time i've asked here... but you're just gonna rope-a-dope, huh?


Ted Betts said...

"that's the third time i've asked here... but you're just gonna rope-a-dope, huh?"

Havin' a hard time reading today, Neo? Too busy running away from facts, and changing the subject to avoid answering to reality?

See the comment above at 4:24pm this afternoon that you approved as comments moderator.

'tis to laugh.

Neo Conservative said...

sorry ted... I guess i saw... "I take your silence on the subject of your post... to be acceptance of the facts about Harper as I laid them out"... and just assumed you were continuing to play cutsie. probably figured that if you'd ducked the first two times i'd asked, you weren't gonna answer now.

that's my bad. i'll have to slow down while i'm winnowing out my death threats. thing is, if it wasn't for your brothers-in-liberalism bombarding me with dozens of "heil hudaks" and threatening my family... i wouldn't have to moderate dozens of comments every day.

trust me, it's a pain

and, yes... it was david dingwall... but you feel free to toss around complete horseshit like... "Only Conservatives are entitled to their entitlements."

and, apparently, with your talk of "technicalities" you seem to feel that he was entitled to his entitlements yet.

all that argle-bargle aside... it still doesn't do away with right & wrong... on both sides of the political fence.

you keep pounding away though... i obviously have a more or less permanent lease on that chunk of meat between your ears.


Frances said...

Ted - want to bet that - on the conservative side of the spectrum at least - those who give to political parties also give to charity, and generously at that.

Neo Conservative said...

"anonybot shrieks... Next you'll see breakins and theft of lists that will be handed out to vigilante stormtroopers."

see, ted... i know you mean well, but you're really just winding up the rest of your tinfoil-hat herd. i mean, what is it with the lunatic left and their, uh... malignant antipathy... for the jews? seriously... you do not wanna see the stuff I choose not to let through.

anyway, mission accomplished... you managed. yet again, to divert the conversation from vote subsidy... to your personal pathological distaste for stephen harper.

here's a little secret, my friend... he really can't be hiding under each & every one of your beds. pass it on.

later, prognosticator.


Ted Betts said...

Hey, isn't this exactly what I said? Why yes, yes it is. Harper is doing just what he said he wouldn't just what he criticized. And now we have a word for it. He is dingwalling the taxpayers just as he once used to (in the far distance of the past) criticize this kind of entitlement culture.

But now we know that was only because he and his cronies weren't getting their share.

Ted Betts said...

As for staying on topic, Neo.

You are the one who falsely claimed that you and the Conservatives care about the taxpayer and believe only supporters and not tax dollars should support political parties.

Pointing out what a freaking self-serving hypocrite Harper is - that he and his party are the most tax subsidized party by far and that this move makes that even more the case - is directly on point.

Ted Betts said...

Last point and them I'm done for the week on this site (unless I need to come over and correct you even more).

I'm not an ideologue. I have a very loose part-time affiliation with any political party only because they most closely align with my values and sense of doing politics. I've voted right and left, Conservative and Liberal and otherwise.

So I really don't feel any attachment to the idiots on the right calling conservatives or even Harper/Hudak/Harris/Klein/Bush/Palin a nazi/fascists and nor do I feel any attachment to them sufficient to feel the need to defend or explain or attack them or feel lumped in with them. They are other.

Just the same way that I don't think you have any connection to the idiots on the right who do the same like Anne Coulter yesterday comparing the Wall Street protestors to nazis.

There are enough idiots to go around that I know full well no side has a exclusive patent to them.

Neo Conservative said...

"ted@1:27 PM -- ted@1:29 PM -- ted@1:35 PM -- Last point and them I'm done for the week on this site"

you mean last three points, right... in what surely must've been eight tortuous, interminable minutes. relax, my friend, step away from the keyboard... you don't wanna blow a valve here.

the fact is, ted... it comes to sketchy, self-serving behaviour nobody beats "big red". i'll give you brian mulroney... but, steeped as he was in quebec's "unique" culture... did he really have a chance to be any other way?

as to your claim about not being an ideologue... and please forgive me for pointing it out... the conversation here seems to suggest otherwise.

you need to face this one head-on, ted... stephen harper is not, contrary to your extremely vivid fever-dreams, the devil incarnate.

i can imagine how terribly painful it must be, to watch as dipper turncoat bob rae clumsily attempts to breathe life into the rotting corpse of what was once the "natural governing party."

trust me, buddy... it's not worth it... you just wanna back away from that big bay street skyscraper window... try to settle the ol' blood pressure. i hear there's a nice little community massage clinic just down the road on dundas street west.

anyway... i'll leave you to the rest of this lovely, sunny afternoon.


Ted Betts said...

"the conversation here seems to suggest otherwise."

Really? Where have I indicated my policy beliefs? And that they are idealogical? Thinking Harper is a bad PM and hypocrite is not an ideology.

"stephen harper is not, contrary to your extremely vivid fever-dreams, the devil incarnate."

Again, where have I indicated he is. I just think, with loads of evidence to back me up, that he is a bad PM that is not good for Canada. In some areas, like democracy and "entitled to his entitlements", he is as bad as Chretien. In other areas, like finances, he is clearly worse. In some areas, like criminal corruption, he's catching up some quick.

"i can imagine how terribly painful it must be"

Actually no. As I said, I'm not too wed to a party. Right now, the Libs tend to align most with what is most important to me. At one point, it was the Progressive Conservatives but they are long gone. A party is not, for me, an end unto itself but a means to an end.

"i hear there's a nice little community massage clinic just down the road on dundas street west."

I wouldn't know. Ms Ted does fine by me. You seem to be some kind of an expert on the matter, so I'll leave that to you.

Anyway... I'll leave you to the rest of this lovely, sunny afternoon, whether you are outside or inside some parlour somewhere downtown.

Neo Conservative said...

ted... what a pleasant surprise.

is this your "new" last post? could've sworn you were done for the week.

say hi to mrs, er... ms ted for me and tell her to keep up the good work.