Politics

Let’s get money out of Canadian politics!

First of all, Mr Trudeau, stop having cash for access events.

Second, reduce the annual limit on contributions in federal elections from current $1550 to $ 100. Quebec has $100 annual limit on contributions in their provincial elections

Third, eliminate spending on TV and radio advertising. If no money is spent on TV/radio advertising, then there is will be less pressure on MP’s to generate political contributions. This means that MP’s will have more time to work on real issues instead of spending their time looking for contributions. In Norway, political parties are not allowed to spend any money on TV or radio advertising.1  

In the 2015 Canadian election, TV and radio advertising accounted for 39% of total election spending by all parties. TV advertising does very little to educate the voting public and usually takes the form of attack ads. Attack ads is the worst type of election spending as it doesn’t contribute to a meaningful discussion of the issues that face the country. Click here to watch attack ad on Trudeau during the 2015 election campaign period.

When Canadians make political contributions to political parties, they receive a tax credit depending on size of donation. In other words, Canadian taxpayers are paying for these wasteful ads which do nothing to contribute to greater understanding of issues facing Canadians.

Fifth, bring back public subsidies to Canadian political parties. In 2011, the subsidy was worth about $2.04 for every vote obtained by a political party beyond a minimum threshold. It was gradually reduced and then eliminated after Conservative Stephen Harper won a majority government.2 In 2015, in Norway, government subsidies provided 67.4% of all funding of all political parties.

Notes:

  1. International campaign finance: How do countries compare. CNN.
  2. Trudeau government in no hurry to reinstate per vote subsidy. Huffington Post. May 18, 2016.
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