Changing the Rules of the Game

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AntiSpin
Changing the Rules of the Game

In politics, if you want to change electoral outcomes you frequently have to change the rules of the game first. And while a coalition or merger between the Liberals and NDP would be a welcome, it is unlikely to be a game changer in Ottawa if a return to stable, sensible majority governments is what Canadians are looking for. A more suitable change would involve adjustments to the public subsidy. More specifically, the legislation ought to be changed so that in order to qualify for federal money, political parties must elect MPs from at least three separate provinces. This small change, while certainly not a daunting task, would force the Bloc Quebecois to either run candidates outside of Quebec or to rely solely on private financing. Assuming that the Bloc would refuse to run candidates outside of Quebec, this change would effectively starve the Bloc of operating cash (75% of the Bloc's funding is from the public subsidy) in the short run, reduce the party's ability to election campaigns and provide the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP with room to maneuver in Quebec. This would only require a very small change in the rules but could have enormous effect in the long run. It was, in essence, what the Tories attempted to do with such extraordinary clumsiness in the Fall of 2008. What they failed to realize is that is was not necessary to eliminate the public subsidy to gain great effect. More importantly, this change emphasizes the need for political parties vying for federal office to at least appear being to be able to operate federally and not just represent parochial provincial interests. www.politicalcanadian.blogspot.com