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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Axe the NDP's vote tax

In “Axe the NDP's vote tax,” Colin Craig, Manitoba Provincial Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, writes:

Manitoba now has a 'vote tax'. Yes, just when you thought the NDP government had taxed everything, they have decided to tax us when we vote.

The NDP government has introduced a bill that would give political parties $1.25 for each vote received in the 2007 provincial election.

Read the entire article here.

Federal political parties also get vote “allowances.”

A registered party that obtains at least 2% of the vote in a general election or at least 5% in any electoral district is eligible for an annual allowance of $1.75 per vote.

At the Libertarian Party convention in Edmonton over the Victoria Day weekend, the Party debated whether or not to accept this money should they reach the vote thresholds.

The Party reaffirmed its opposition to this campaign finance policy, but decided that they would take the money until they were in a position to repeal the law.
It was hotly debated, but in the end the Party members thought they needed a level playing field and that since the avenues for private fundraising are shrinking, they couldn’t afford to handicap the Party by refusing to take the money.

I asked Colin Craig if he thought the Party had made the right decision. Here’s his answer:
“Your question is an interesting one as it’s difficult for one party to fight another one that is backing up the truck and filling it with government money.  However, I will note that over the last 18 years the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has served as an effective advocacy organization without a single cent of government money.  Political parties should be able to do the same."

However, he also said: "I would always be more critical of those that bring forward such ridiculous schemes than those that accept the [money] to fight on a 'level playing field'.”

What do Western Standard readers think?

Posted by Matthew Johnston on May 25, 2008 | Permalink


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This is a great idea but only with a twist. The MLA's are paid this amount for their term in office. The number of votes each MLA received each election determines their salary and if you do not like any of the choices, I guess they won't be paid much. I new they would come around to my idea.

Posted by: Guess What | 2008-05-26 12:35:24 AM

Guess What - that is brilliant. May I suggest that the same be applied to all politicians at every level of government.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-05-26 11:05:19 AM

Guess What, that's a great idea! The only problem would be the incentive created by promising all kinds of goodies to the elctorate in return for votes (income). BUT, if the government didn't fund anything, there could be few goodies to dish out.

Posted by: TM | 2008-05-26 11:06:49 AM

"However, I will note that over the last 18 years the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has served as an effective advocacy organization without a single cent of government money. Political parties should be able to do the same."

I would counter-note that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is not a political party, and would encourage Colin Craig to disclose how much financing the Canadian Taxpayers Federation would have achieved over the last 18 years relative to what it actually received if it were unable to take donations from corporations or personal donations of more than $1100 per individual donor per year.


Posted by: Kevin S | 2008-05-26 4:45:52 PM

Kevin, what differnce would that make? If someone, some company, wants to donate money to the CTF, that is their business. Giving a party or politician money that was forcefully taken from other people is totally different.

Posted by: TM | 2008-05-26 7:26:13 PM

TM: You misunderstand. I don't care who or what an individual or business gives money to.

What Colin seems to be saying is that the CTF can raise enough funds privately to be effective, so there's no reason a political party shouldn't be able to.

But the CTF is not limited in who can give money to them, nor are they limited in what amount they can give. The same does not hold true for a political party.

As someone who voted FOR the LPC to "take the money until they were in a position to repeal the law" I simply found the statement "Political parties should be able to do the same." a bit naive.

Posted by: Kevin S | 2008-05-26 9:55:02 PM

It's a bit like someone living in Alaska criticizing Californians for using an air conditioner solely on the basis that the Alaskan has never felt the need to use one.

Posted by: Kevin S | 2008-05-26 10:09:42 PM

Kevin, I think I understand you, and agree with you. I still believe though, that anyone should be able to give what they want to political parties.

Posted by: TM | 2008-05-26 10:15:17 PM

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