When Stephen Harper first came on the political stage, and in his first election drive that saw his party sneak into power, the issue was transparent & accountable Government. Fine sentiments really, good one’s too, though the Harper Conservatives only speak the talk, they do not walk it. From his first get go, Harper & his Conservatives have made every effort to ignore transparent government, and certainly haven’t made it accountable, blocking as many freedom of information requests as possible, even from sitting Members of Parliament.
How is that being accountable or transparent?
Now, the Harper Government seeks to limit the financing of political parties, mainly because they have a nice fat war chest of their own. They claim not to need it, yet Elections Canada has questioned many of the accounting practises of the Harper Candidates, who were eager for that funding. Makes you wonder, because Harper explains it all away, by saying that his party has used Creative Accounting Techniques, to insure they are properly funded. They even made a big deal of it, during their policy convention, touting how they used those ‘creative procedures’ to build up their war chest.
If you know anything about accounting procedures, when they talk about being ‘creative’ it means they are fiddling with the truth, using tactics that are not Kosher.
Federal parties currently receive $1.95 for every vote they receive in a federal election, provided they win at least two per cent of the nationwide popular vote. The annual subsidy is used to pay for staff and expenses.
Cutting the subsidies would effectively gut the opposition parties, who are far more dependent on them than the Conservative party. (source – CBC News)
There are some who believe that taxpayer subsidizing political parties is wrong, and that it should be based on support from people. Yet these are also the same people who don’t want to see giant corporations or special interest groups from having undue influence in any political party, or government. So you can’t have both, you need to decide which is more important, either public money or private money.
I will always choose Public Funding over Private, because we are asking ordinary human beings, to take on an awesome job, and we need to make sure that they are influenced by our needs, not those of who gave them money. In fact, I’d prefer to see NO PRIVATE MONEY be allowed to be given to any political party, but instead, a set amount be allocated to each party, including for running an election campaign.
What Stephen Harper is proposing, is to widen the door that is open, for corporate sponsorships of political parties, just as the two USA Parties have done. Look at how well that has worked for the. They have been co-opted by Big Business and the Religious Zealots, which has given the world, George W. Bush. Now maybe some of you think that is good, but then again, look around and get your head out of your ass. Bush has single handedly led the world to the brink of a new cold war, and has wrecked the world economic fabric. He has single handedly forced his beliefs on the world, gone to war to back them up, and now we have Stephen Harper trying the same crap here.
By trying to eliminate public funding for the opposition parties, Harper is trying to seek an economic advantage for his own party, at the same time, opening up the other parties for corporate ownership, as well. In short, to create a system where it won’t matter who wins, because the ideas and policies will already be determined not by us, the people, but by the corporations who spent the bucks. Just like in the USA.
We simply cannot afford such Americanization of our political system. This isn’t the United States, YET.