Harper calls for end of per-vote subsidy

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NorthReport

So do others like what Tom Kent has to say?

Sean in Ottawa

Interesting when you read the comments below Kent's article-- most people who cared to reply are in favour of the per vote subsidy and many have issues with the tax credit.

Given what I said upthread I'd rather keep both and reform how the money is spent so attack ads are reduced and policy content increased.

ygtbk

A (possibly interesting) philosophical point: in municipal politics, we don't have party-based funding. Federally, we do - and this arguably has the side-effect of turning otherwise-sensible MP's into trained seals barking for the Leader on command. Is there a principled way to draw a distinction between the two situations?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Sean, it's a political discussion site and the per vote subsidy is a political issue.  I disagree with your take on the per vote subsidy.  I think your take is wrong.

That isn't some sort of personal attack.  That's a disagreement.  It's about the per vote subsidy.  Believe it or not, it isn't about you.

I don't know why you feel the need to view disagreement as a personal slight, but if you are agoing to accuse me of some sort of vendetta for the simple act of disagreeing with you, could you at least spell my name correctly?

Sean in Ottawa

Sorry for misspelling your name Malcolm.

However, you know very well that my complaint is not about mere disagreement --Must you always debate people by misrepresenting them?

Comments suggesting that the person you disagree with is not honest or is confused etc., is not a normal disagreement -- at least it isn't for most people here. Those comments reduce the rest of your post to nothing more than noise.

taxation is slavery

I am not a big fan of paying for my representative oppressors, er I mean representatives. Why don't we eliminate tax deductions for political contributions at the same time. That will get my vote.

Actually I think I might just change my voting pattern as the right wing has gone totally off the deep end in the last few years. So does one vote center or left? The greens would be much akin to spoiling a ballot.

taxation is slavery

Is conflation a real word?

 

taxation is slavery

ygtbk wrote:

A (possibly interesting) philosophical point: in municipal politics, we don't have party-based funding. Federally, we do - and this arguably has the side-effect of turning otherwise-sensible MP's into trained seals barking for the Leader on command. Is there a principled way to draw a distinction between the two situations?

Makes good sense to me. How about getting rid of partisan politics altogether. Vote for your representative and leave it at that (no PM, no cabinet, just an elected committee chosen by the representatives, add in recall and we might just have something there).

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

That would be a good way to ensure no one would be accountable since no single candidate could possibly be knowledgeable in every policy area.  If my MP is not working with a team then who is he taking his advice from in all the matters she is learning about,  the smoothest talkers or maybe the friendly lobbyist willing to show them the ropes?  

We need a new political system and PR has to be the first step.  

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Malcom-- I don't want to get in a big fight

Then don't.  I'd rather discuss the issue here.

If you think my characterization of a certain potiion was incorrect, then just say so.  However, throughout two threads now, people have written as though elimination of the per vote grant necessarily means the elimination of the donor maximum.  That simply isn't the case.  Therefore, two distinct issues are conflated.  I believe it is not only appropriate but necessary to challenge that.

That is not a criticism of a person's character.  It is a disagreement about issues and analysis.

taxation is slavery

Frmrsldr wrote:

thorin_bane wrote:

I want the donation subsidy gone. That is the subsidy that asks people who don't even vote to forfeit their taxes to an election they don't believe in or want. If we are being honest about it.

What people who don't vote fail to see is that they are disempowering themselves.

Imagine what would happen if all those eligible to vote, but who don't, voted - and they all voted for the NDP or Marxist Party of Canada or for the Greens or whatever party most closely matches their political and/or ethical/moral values.

Whenever I hear someone who didn't vote bitch about the way things are, I ask them what they are doing to change things.

Not voting is a fatalistic self-fulfilling prophesy.

What makes you think that all those who didn't vote would vote left?

taxation is slavery

Frmrsldr wrote:

thorin_bane wrote:

I want the donation subsidy gone. That is the subsidy that asks people who don't even vote to forfeit their taxes to an election they don't believe in or want. If we are being honest about it.

What people who don't vote fail to see is that they are disempowering themselves.

Imagine what would happen if all those eligible to vote, but who don't, voted - and they all voted for the NDP or Marxist Party of Canada or for the Greens or whatever party most closely matches their political and/or ethical/moral values.

Whenever I hear someone who didn't vote bitch about the way things are, I ask them what they are doing to change things.

Not voting is a fatalistic self-fulfilling prophesy.

What makes you think that all those who didn't vote would vote left?

taxation is slavery

Northern Shoveler wrote:

That would be a good way to ensure no one would be accountable since no single candidate could possibly be knowledgeable in every policy area.  If my MP is not working with a team then who is he taking his advice from in all the matters she is learning about,  the smoothest talkers or maybe the friendly lobbyist willing to show them the ropes?  

We need a new political system and PR has to be the first step.  

What is PR?

I suppose that if you look at municipal politics, it can be pretty disorganized. It is at least as corrupt too.

Fidel

taxation is slavery wrote:

Frmrsldr wrote:

thorin_bane wrote:

I want the donation subsidy gone. That is the subsidy that asks people who don't even vote to forfeit their taxes to an election they don't believe in or want. If we are being honest about it.

What people who don't vote fail to see is that they are disempowering themselves.

Imagine what would happen if all those eligible to vote, but who don't, voted - and they all voted for the NDP or Marxist Party of Canada or for the Greens or whatever party most closely matches their political and/or ethical/moral values.

Whenever I hear someone who didn't vote bitch about the way things are, I ask them what they are doing to change things.

Not voting is a fatalistic self-fulfilling prophesy.

What makes you think that all those who didn't vote would vote left?

 

What makes us think that every vote is even counted by our obsolete electoral system? Millions of votes are wasted every election no matter what the participation rate. 

Our mathematically absurd and inefficient electoral system dictates that in order for your vote to count, you must either vote for the correct party or live in an area of Canada where your vote will count for something. Millions of Canadians' votes are automatically cancelled whether they bother voting or not. It's an unwritten law according to our 19th century electoral system invented before electricity.

And not only that, our corrupt stooges are refusing to abide by a [url=http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/index.html]UN resolution against corruption in government[/url]. In other words, Bay Street's loyal and obedient lap poodles understand full well that they are the ones maintaining the democracy gap-canyon while running the country not so differently than a banana republic. We should be calling for NATO air strikes and even CIA support to help us offshore these jokers to a deserted island designated for corrupt stooges only as punishment for taking themselves far too seriously. Their sentences should be 10 consecutive years bunching bananas for limbo-low pay and viewing Chaplin's film, The Great Dictator, and not one day less.

Frmrsldr

taxation is slavery wrote:

What makes you think that all those who didn't vote would vote left?

From what I've seen in the 2006 and 2008 elections,

the "moderate" (as opposed to the "lunatic fringe" right - various survivalist neo-nazi parties, etc.,) right is

unified, galvanized (behind the CPC) and motivated (to vote) - a large percentage are senior citizens.

The disenchanted (those who tend not to vote)

tend to be young idealistic voters who find voting for the parties their parent(s' generation) vote for repugnant.

They tend to be more idealistic, naive perhaps, more reflective and perhaps a little more intelligent than those who (seem) to vote Conservative in a knee-jerk fashion.

"Zo,"

from what I've seen and my impression is,

(the vast majority of) those who don't vote would vote left.

What do you suppose the percentage of non-voting "rightists" who are disgruntled and hate Herr Harper is?

Frmrsldr

taxation is slavery wrote:

What is PR?

PR is Proportional Representation a.k.a a Fair Voting system.

Where it's "One person, one vote" and every vote counts (or is "worth something.")

Where representation is very closely (nothing's perfect in this world) proportional to the number of votes cast.

taxation is slavery

They use MMP over in NZ, it seems to work fairly well, as far as representative democracy is concerned. I think recall is essential, and some form of direct input should be sought as well (beyond just choosing once every election).

Sean in Ottawa

Hi taxation is slavery -- welcome to babble

One question you asked-- why would we presume that those who don't vote would vote left:

We can't really. It seems that it is in the interest of most who vote to vote left of centre given that the most wealthy 5% have over 95% of the country's resources but we see people voting against their own interest constantly. I think it is optimistic to assume how a non-voting person would vote. One reason for this optimism may be that they are not sucked in to the establishment parties so perhaps they may be open to something different.

Another point you made was about direct involvement. This is somewhat problematic. In a representative democracy you elect people who become responsible for the relationship between policies (that they add up), the longer term (that they work over time rather than just being popular in the moment) and that they are legally correct and fair to everyone. They are supposed to spend the time to become more expert in the issue than the average person and seek out the expert resources to help them. Then we look at their record over time and hold them accountable. That is the objective anyway. The danger with direct input too often is of course you lack the accountability for the coherence of multiple policies, you lack the expertise and the policies become momentary popularity contests-- bad government in the same way that those who govern by opinion poll are bad governments. Recall provides one check on this because you would not do recall except over something big and direct involvement should be restricted to important issues that the population is widely familiar with and are important enough for them to consider all the implications-- so for major issues like constitutional change this can make sense and we have had referenda in the past to decide those. It is a balance but I do take what you say as an indication we have not got the balance right in your view and we could have more input than we have now-- but as I say you can go too far in that as there is a value to representative democracy as well.

The idea Harper is saying that the parties are too well funded makes no sense at all -- we want the parties to be able to function. I would say that there are not enough restrictions on how the money is spent -- attack ads that never stop (a Conservative tactic) should not be allowed and the number of ads that attack without informing is also a problem. I don't know how to enforce this but I think it is worth a try but to force parties to put out more information about their proposed policies including costing and effects is important.

bekayne

taxation is slavery wrote:

What makes you think that all those who didn't vote would vote left?

Not all. The young voting in smaller numbers has been mentioned. Also, look at which ridings have the highest & lowest turnout %. Low income areas tend to be at the bottom. Consider the 1995 Quebec referendum. The polls predicted a comfortable NO victory. It was assumed there would be around 75-80% turnout. There was a 93% turnout.

ygtbk

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The idea Harper is saying that the parties are too well funded makes no sense at all -- we want the parties to be able to function.

Given that (as I pointed out above) we seem to be able to avoid party funding for municipal politics, and that party funding has some pernicious effects, why, exactly, do "we" want the parties to function? Duff Conacher wants to cut the per vote subsidy in half, and he's not exactly a rabid Harper supporter...

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Your ideal of the municipal scene totally ignores the influence of the development industry on most civc elections.  We want parties to function because only groups of people associating together have the strength to with stand the constant pressure of the rich to define public policy as anything in their best interest.  

Many people cannot resist the allure of being enticed into the world of the uber rich and many of our politicians fit that description.  Being wined and dined by an attentive intelligent sophisticate is heady stuff for many well meaning political neophytes in the municipal realm.

ygtbk

Northern Shoveler wrote:

Your ideal of the municipal scene totally ignores the influence of the development industry on most civc elections.  We want parties to function because only groups of people associating together have the strength to with stand the constant pressure of the rich to define public policy as anything in their best interest.  

Many people cannot resist the allure of being enticed into the world of the uber rich and many of our politicians fit that description.  Being wined and dined by an attentive intelligent sophisticate is heady stuff for many well meaning political neophytes in the municipal realm.

NS, I see your point, but we already have lobbying restrictions at the Federal level and I would not propose removing them.

birdfeeder

A tax credit for one is paid for by all taxpayers. I would prefer to see the tax deduction for political contributions eliminated completely. Then, use the savings for the per-vote subsidy. Giving a tax credit for a political contribution is a subsidy, period. It was interesting to see CBC News come out swinging against the per-vote subsidy, detailed in a thread in "Media". I wonder what percentage of Canadians earning the median income [or less] contibute money to the politicos? I am not tired of seeing some of my tax money go to the party thhat I have voted for. I am sick and tired, however, of paying for a tax credit for those financially supporting their particular party.

Sean in Ottawa

ygtbk wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The idea Harper is saying that the parties are too well funded makes no sense at all -- we want the parties to be able to function.

Given that (as I pointed out above) we seem to be able to avoid party funding for municipal politics, and that party funding has some pernicious effects, why, exactly, do "we" want the parties to function? Duff Conacher wants to cut the per vote subsidy in half, and he's not exactly a rabid Harper supporter...

It is not my impression that municipal politics functions well-- it does so with money behind the scenes and dirty deals. Of course, since I live in Ottawa some of this might be more apparent.

I should add-- I wnat the parties' research to be well funded as from that comes public policy.

I want limits on the advertising part...

Sean in Ottawa

birdfeeder wrote:

A tax credit for one is paid for by all taxpayers. I would prefer to see the tax deduction for political contributions eliminated completely. Then, use the savings for the per-vote subsidy. Giving a tax credit for a political contribution is a subsidy, period. It was interesting to see CBC News come out swinging against the per-vote subsidy, detailed in a thread in "Media". I wonder what percentage of Canadians earning the median income [or less] contibute money to the politicos? I am not tired of seeing some of my tax money go to the party thhat I have voted for. I am sick and tired, however, of paying for a tax credit for those financially supporting their particular party.

I would have agreed with you some time ago but I have changed my mind by two things:

1) Several people here have argued a value in this as a part of the funding and that if kept to small numbers this can be a good thing. In the end I concluded that reducing those levels make the most sense-- so perhaps reducing the maximum contribution to $500 might be better (that would mean $125 coming from out of pocket and a significant limit to what  people can get as influence with taxpayers money. A financial contribution is a different sort of contribution than a vote. It is one of very strong support whereas a vote can be the best of poor options. .

2) And this was a bolt of realization for me. The tax credit is the only way that landed immigrants who contribute greatly to our society and have deep concerns can have any influence. They cannot vote. But they can donate to a political party that represents their views. I am reluctant to take away what little influence they have.

If we allowed the vote for landed immigrants I could consider the idea of the change proposed. I very much support extending the vote both to landed immigrants and to those between 16 and 18. Both have specific concerns and both ought to be encouraged to develop the personal habit of voting. There are huge areas in Canada where few people can vote because many are landed immigrants and their kids too young to vote. I see no reason at all to consider that the youth would be any less responsible than the adults with their vote-- actually the contrary. Before being screwed up by greed and self interest they represent an idealist and often well-informed segment of our society who have just as much stake as the rest of us.

That said I am aware that the removal of a political tax credit does not mean donations are not allowed. And while the lowest income people cannot use tax credits they are particularly valuable for low middle income people. If there were no tax credits but only donations allowed would that increase the influence of those so wealthy they need no credit to be able to donate a significant amount.

I am sorry to not be able to express a clear determination on this-- there is much to consider and none of this is as simple as we might want it to be.

birdfeeder

Landed immigrants who are unable to vote are able to volunteer for their party of choice. The tax credit should not be used as an incentive to syphon money from immigrant blocs to political parties. I would, of course, favour cutting the amount of money allowed to be donated by individuals, but I guess it is a free country [at the moment]., and would be unpopular with the usual suspects. One of my concerns, especially here in alberta, is the number of campaign "volunteers" from south of the border, who may indeed be well paid, just not through the party that they are working for. Watching the Koch brothers fund [legally] the political destruction of the usa is not a pleasant sight. The per-vote subsidy is too fair a system to survive for long under a con/lib [no difference] majority, but it is indeed, "the great leveller", im my opinion.

ygtbk

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The idea Harper is saying that the parties are too well funded makes no sense at all -- we want the parties to be able to function.

Given that (as I pointed out above) we seem to be able to avoid party funding for municipal politics, and that party funding has some pernicious effects, why, exactly, do "we" want the parties to function? Duff Conacher wants to cut the per vote subsidy in half, and he's not exactly a rabid Harper supporter...

It is not my impression that municipal politics functions well-- it does so with money behind the scenes and dirty deals. Of course, since I live in Ottawa some of this might be more apparent.

I should add-- I want the parties' research to be well funded as from that comes public policy.

I want limits on the advertising part...

I'm glad that there are things that you want, Sean. But to think that research by the parties is anything like an objective search for rational public policy, as opposed to coming up with a rationale for a platform already determined, is naive. I don't think you're that naive. And advertising is, in my mind, free speech, although I know the Supreme Court of Canada has already determined that such a libertarian position is out of bounds by strictly limiting "third-party" advertising. I think they're wrong, but they're the Supreme Court and I'm not.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

If advertising is "free speech" then I guess you support advertising cigarettes, violent tv programs, unhealthy foods, etc., etc., to children. However, it's an established fact that the marketing is a factor in many childhood problems: in childhood obeisity, in childhood violence, and in the culture of vulgar materialism of things over people and relationships.

Such views have no place in the Supreme Court nor in any decision making position that affects the well being of children. Have a nice day.

ygtbk

N.Beltov wrote:

If advertising is "free speech" then I guess you support advertising cigarettes, violent tv programs, unhealthy foods, etc., etc., to children. However, it's an established fact that the marketing is a factor in many childhood problems: in childhood obesity, in childhood violence, and in the culture of vulgar materialism of things over people and relationships.

Such views have no place in the Supreme Court nor in any decision making position that affects the well being of children. Have a nice day.

Having a lovely day - Thanks!

Since kids can't vote, I clearly wasn't talking about them. Please do try to keep up and not use gratuitous "think of the children" arguments.

On the other hand, I'm fine with all the things you listed being advertised to adults - if you don't like the commercial, then turn it off. If you're smart enough to vote, you're clearly smart enough to do that.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

ygtbk wrote:

On the other hand, I'm fine with all the things you listed being advertised to adults - if you don't like the commercial, then turn it off. If you're smart enough to vote, you're clearly smart enough to do that.

If advertisong does not work why is it the engine of our entertainment and sports industries?  Are all those businesses rubes for paying the big bucks for TV spots?  Even tar sands oil companies are spending millions on commercials when they don't even have a product to sell but only consent to manufacture. I will admit that you do seem to be far smarter than the rest of us so I guess that is where your immunity comes from. But spare a thought to the majority of adults who buy the latest I-Gadget or fashion rage without even knowing what they need it for.   

As for freedom of expression in Canada I think it should only be an individual right.  A corporation is not a human and therefore has no human rights to protect.  Now if Fancy Pants CEO wants to speak out on their political views they should have the same right as you or me.  If a bunch of rich people want to get together and pool their resources so their voice drowns out all the individual citizens voices then that is clearly anti-democratic.

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am sorry to not be able to express a clear determination on this-- there is much to consider and none of this is as simple as we might want it to be.

You know, that's pretty much where I find myself on these issues.

On some days, I wonder: "Why tax credits for individual donations? Taxes are for the maintenance of society. Why reduce my contribution to society in order to reward my contribution to a party or candidate??"

On other days (or sometimes the same days), I wonder: "Why a per-vote subsidy? That means, the better-known a party is, the more money it gets to become even better known. Those who are not well known get nothing." Hmm.

Both, of course, are far preferable to the past system of allowing the wealthy to run the show in a more open fashion.

Then, on some days, I think this:

1. Ban all public funding. 2. Private funding from individuals only, and with very low maximum limits. 3. Strict limits on media coverage - no paid ads at all, and limits on free advertising which is generally called "news" - yeah, that means restrictions on the so-called hilarious joke known as "freedom of the press (barons)". Not sure how this would work, I just want to float the concept. 4. All organizing will then be local, community, workplace, school-based, word-of-mouth, and social networking.

Ok, so it's a modest proposal. But at least, it's mine.

 

ygtbk

Northern Shoveler wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

On the other hand, I'm fine with all the things you listed being advertised to adults - if you don't like the commercial, then turn it off. If you're smart enough to vote, you're clearly smart enough to do that.

If advertisong does not work why is it the engine of our entertainment and sports industries?  Are all those businesses rubes for paying the big bucks for TV spots?  Even tar sands oil companies are spending millions on commercials when they don't even have a product to sell but only consent to manufacture. I will admit that you do seem to be far smarter than the rest of us so I guess that is where your immunity comes from. But spare a thought to the majority of adults who buy the latest I-Gadget or fashion rage without even knowing what they need it for.   

As for freedom of expression in Canada I think it should only be an individual right.  A corporation is not a human and therefore has no human rights to protect.  Now if Fancy Pants CEO wants to speak out on their political views they should have the same right as you or me.  If a bunch of rich people want to get together and pool their resources so their voice drowns out all the individual citizens voices then that is clearly anti-democratic.

I doubt that I'm smarter than the rest of the babblers. But you clearly have opinions and probably don't think that you're brainwashed. I feel the same way about myself. If I can't make intelligent decisions for myself, how can I be smart enough to select other people that can?

I agree that freedom of expression should be an individual right in Canada.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Trollshit again.

Conflating asocial corporate "freedom of expression" with individual rights.

ygtbk

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

Trollshit again.

Conflating asocial corporate "freedom of expression" with individual rights.

Thanks for your insightful comment, LTJ. Didn't I just say that I'm in favour of individual freedom of expression? That's bedrock for a libertarian. Can I assume that you are too?

I did not conflate (is that the word of the week?) corporations with individuals. The answer is not obvious to me.

On the one hand, corporations have to pay taxes and obey laws, which gives them incentives to pick politicians sympathetic to their objectives. And if politicians are going to make laws that affect their prospects, why is that illegitimate?

On the other hand, corporations are at the root an association of individuals (just like unions), so if you're willing to gag unions during an election campaign you should be equally willing to gag corporations.

BTW, is everyone who disagrees with one or more of your preconceptions a troll?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

ygtbk wrote:
Having a lovely day - Thanks!

Since kids can't vote, I clearly wasn't talking about them. Please do try to keep up and not use gratuitous "think of the children" arguments.

On the other hand, I'm fine with all the things you listed being advertised to adults - if you don't like the commercial, then turn it off. If you're smart enough to vote, you're clearly smart enough to do that.

Children don't have that choice that you presume for adults. Nor are they equipped with the ability to distinguish between a commercial and a program. Children under 8 cannot distinguish what is called persuasive intent from adults. These are easily confirmed facts. That's why, perhaps, the province of Quebec has banned advertising to children under 13. They clearly don't share ideology driven views such as the market idolatry or fundamentalist "free speech" advocacy that you've put forward.

Clearly, libertarian fundamentalism should have no role in determining public policy on these matters.

 

taxation is slavery

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

birdfeeder wrote:

A tax credit for one is paid for by all taxpayers. I would prefer to see the tax deduction for political contributions eliminated completely. Then, use the savings for the per-vote subsidy. Giving a tax credit for a political contribution is a subsidy, period. It was interesting to see CBC News come out swinging against the per-vote subsidy, detailed in a thread in "Media". I wonder what percentage of Canadians earning the median income [or less] contibute money to the politicos? I am not tired of seeing some of my tax money go to the party thhat I have voted for. I am sick and tired, however, of paying for a tax credit for those financially supporting their particular party.

I would have agreed with you some time ago but I have changed my mind by two things:

1) Several people here have argued a value in this as a part of the funding and that if kept to small numbers this can be a good thing. In the end I concluded that reducing those levels make the most sense-- so perhaps reducing the maximum contribution to $500 might be better (that would mean $125 coming from out of pocket and a significant limit to what  people can get as influence with taxpayers money. A financial contribution is a different sort of contribution than a vote. It is one of very strong support whereas a vote can be the best of poor options. .

2) And this was a bolt of realization for me. The tax credit is the only way that landed immigrants who contribute greatly to our society and have deep concerns can have any influence. They cannot vote. But they can donate to a political party that represents their views. I am reluctant to take away what little influence they have.

If we allowed the vote for landed immigrants I could consider the idea of the change proposed. I very much support extending the vote both to landed immigrants and to those between 16 and 18. Both have specific concerns and both ought to be encouraged to develop the personal habit of voting. There are huge areas in Canada where few people can vote because many are landed immigrants and their kids too young to vote. I see no reason at all to consider that the youth would be any less responsible than the adults with their vote-- actually the contrary. Before being screwed up by greed and self interest they represent an idealist and often well-informed segment of our society who have just as much stake as the rest of us.

That said I am aware that the removal of a political tax credit does not mean donations are not allowed. And while the lowest income people cannot use tax credits they are particularly valuable for low middle income people. If there were no tax credits but only donations allowed would that increase the influence of those so wealthy they need no credit to be able to donate a significant amount.

I am sorry to not be able to express a clear determination on this-- there is much to consider and none of this is as simple as we might want it to be.

I tend to agree with birdfeeder and would prefer to end the tax credit and keep the party funding.

Also at the risk of being called xenophobic or anti immigrant, I do not feel that people who just got here should necessarily get to vote and add children to that list as well. If you want to change the age of majority fine but not just for voting.

taxation is slavery

Unionist wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am sorry to not be able to express a clear determination on this-- there is much to consider and none of this is as simple as we might want it to be.

You know, that's pretty much where I find myself on these issues.

On some days, I wonder: "Why tax credits for individual donations? Taxes are for the maintenance of society. Why reduce my contribution to society in order to reward my contribution to a party or candidate??"

On other days (or sometimes the same days), I wonder: "Why a per-vote subsidy? That means, the better-known a party is, the more money it gets to become even better known. Those who are not well known get nothing." Hmm.

Both, of course, are far preferable to the past system of allowing the wealthy to run the show in a more open fashion.

Then, on some days, I think this:

1. Ban all public funding. 2. Private funding from individuals only, and with very low maximum limits. 3. Strict limits on media coverage - no paid ads at all, and limits on free advertising which is generally called "news" - yeah, that means restrictions on the so-called hilarious joke known as "freedom of the press (barons)". Not sure how this would work, I just want to float the concept. 4. All organizing will then be local, community, workplace, school-based, word-of-mouth, and social networking.

Ok, so it's a modest proposal. But at least, it's mine.

 

Is there a deduction for corporations for political donations, and if so, why? Low maximums unless they are identified can be manipulated and spread around a family or organization to appear to be coming from many places, why not just do away with it altogether.

When I look at the advertising in that way and add it to the per vote subsidy, it also means that we are donating to the "media barons" as well. I too am against paid advertising, but that means making free advertising available. This would be easier to regulate but then censorship has it's own dangers.

Unionist

taxation is slavery wrote:

Is there a deduction for corporations for political donations, and if so, why?

Not sure I understand your question. Corporations are not allowed to contribute at all, so of course there's no deduction.

Quote:
Low minimums unless they are identified can be manipulated and spread around a family or organization to appear to be coming from many places, why not just do away with it altogether.

Um, why not just do away with [i]what[/i]? Individual donations? I'd need to hear your rationale for that.

Quote:
When I look at the advertising in that way and add it to the per vote subsidy, it also means that we are donating to the "media barons" as well. I too am against paid advertising, but that means making free advertising available. This would be easier to regulate but then censorship has it's own dangers.

Free would be ok, but a formula that gives more free exposure to those who are already well known (which is a formula [b]everyone[/b] here seems to share - see the discussions about the leaders' debates) seems oddly anti-democratic to me.

Fidel

<a href="http://www.dwatch.ca/camp/moneycoal.html#10%20Recommendations">"D" Watch</a> wrote:

You can't give money to a referee at a game. Can't give money to a judge.

Yet, despite the passage of Bill C-24 in 2003, and Bill C-2 in December 2006, it's still legal for wealthy special interests to give unlimited amounts of money, property or services in secret to candidates in federal nomination races and federal party leadership races, and other loopholes still exist in the federal political donations system.

Whether it's big banks trying to preserve their government protections and subsidies, brand-name pharmaceutical companies reaping billions of dollars from patent laws, defence and aerospace companies receiving lucrative contracts from the Department of National Defence, or petrochemical companies opposing better environmental laws -- the major political donors are invariably those with the greatest stake in government decisions.

When these interests are bankrolling the political process in secret, it is that much harder for other voices to be heard.

Many of citizen groups who lobby for progressive reforms in Canada understand all too well the influence that powerful corporate lobbies can use to halt these reforms.

The problems with Canada's political finance system at the federal level and in the provinces and territories are well known. A long series of reports from Canada's Chief Electoral Officers, and even a Royal Commission, have thoroughly examined the loopholes and abuses of the current system. And many of the solutions would be easy to implement

Easy to implement in dozens of other countries - not so easy for our corrupt stooges on the take in Ottawa.

[url=http://www.dwatch.ca/camp/moneycoal.html#10%20Recommendations]10 Recommendations to Clean-Up Canada's Political Finance System[/url]

It's about the democracy gap in our Northern Puerto Rico.

Sean in Ottawa

taxation is slavery wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am sorry to not be able to express a clear determination on this-- there is much to consider and none of this is as simple as we might want it to be.

You know, that's pretty much where I find myself on these issues.

On some days, I wonder: "Why tax credits for individual donations? Taxes are for the maintenance of society. Why reduce my contribution to society in order to reward my contribution to a party or candidate??"

On other days (or sometimes the same days), I wonder: "Why a per-vote subsidy? That means, the better-known a party is, the more money it gets to become even better known. Those who are not well known get nothing." Hmm.

Both, of course, are far preferable to the past system of allowing the wealthy to run the show in a more open fashion.

Then, on some days, I think this:

1. Ban all public funding. 2. Private funding from individuals only, and with very low maximum limits. 3. Strict limits on media coverage - no paid ads at all, and limits on free advertising which is generally called "news" - yeah, that means restrictions on the so-called hilarious joke known as "freedom of the press (barons)". Not sure how this would work, I just want to float the concept. 4. All organizing will then be local, community, workplace, school-based, word-of-mouth, and social networking.

Ok, so it's a modest proposal. But at least, it's mine.

 

Is there a deduction for corporations for political donations, and if so, why? Low maximums unless they are identified can be manipulated and spread around a family or organization to appear to be coming from many places, why not just do away with it altogether.

When I look at the advertising in that way and add it to the per vote subsidy, it also means that we are donating to the "media barons" as well. I too am against paid advertising, but that means making free advertising available. This would be easier to regulate but then censorship has it's own dangers.

When it comes to immigrants voting we should consider that voting districts are geographic-- and now due to many factors we have whole neighborhoods where very few people are citizens so there are geographical areas where hardly anyone can vote.

Immigrants work and are part of the community they pay taxes as well. Why should they not have representation?

Rememebr all those people who decried taxation without representation-- a whole new country got formed on this issue...

When we accept a person with landed status to be part of our country, to work, to make a life and to pay taxes why would we not accept that they can vote?

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am sorry to not be able to express a clear determination on this-- there is much to consider and none of this is as simple as we might want it to be.

You know, that's pretty much where I find myself on these issues.

On some days, I wonder: "Why tax credits for individual donations? Taxes are for the maintenance of society. Why reduce my contribution to society in order to reward my contribution to a party or candidate??"

On other days (or sometimes the same days), I wonder: "Why a per-vote subsidy? That means, the better-known a party is, the more money it gets to become even better known. Those who are not well known get nothing." Hmm.

Both, of course, are far preferable to the past system of allowing the wealthy to run the show in a more open fashion.

Then, on some days, I think this:

1. Ban all public funding. 2. Private funding from individuals only, and with very low maximum limits. 3. Strict limits on media coverage - no paid ads at all, and limits on free advertising which is generally called "news" - yeah, that means restrictions on the so-called hilarious joke known as "freedom of the press (barons)". Not sure how this would work, I just want to float the concept. 4. All organizing will then be local, community, workplace, school-based, word-of-mouth, and social networking.

Ok, so it's a modest proposal. But at least, it's mine.

 

Then only people with money could influence parties. I like #s 2-4 but not so much #1-- but I agree amounts should be low.

Fidel

I think any party taking significant amounts of money from corporate donors should have money and other assets confiscated and be banned from running for election 10 years or more. And their fat-cat appointees in the senate should not be doing party fundraising on the taxpayer's dime either. They should be run outa town on a rail for undermining democracy as well.

Sean in Ottawa

ygtbk wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The idea Harper is saying that the parties are too well funded makes no sense at all -- we want the parties to be able to function.

Given that (as I pointed out above) we seem to be able to avoid party funding for municipal politics, and that party funding has some pernicious effects, why, exactly, do "we" want the parties to function? Duff Conacher wants to cut the per vote subsidy in half, and he's not exactly a rabid Harper supporter...

It is not my impression that municipal politics functions well-- it does so with money behind the scenes and dirty deals. Of course, since I live in Ottawa some of this might be more apparent.

I should add-- I want the parties' research to be well funded as from that comes public policy.

I want limits on the advertising part...

I'm glad that there are things that you want, Sean. But to think that research by the parties is anything like an objective search for rational public policy, as opposed to coming up with a rationale for a platform already determined, is naive. I don't think you're that naive. And advertising is, in my mind, free speech, although I know the Supreme Court of Canada has already determined that such a libertarian position is out of bounds by strictly limiting "third-party" advertising. I think they're wrong, but they're the Supreme Court and I'm not.

I disagree-- Question period is show-boating but a lot of great work is done in committees and I want parties to be able to fund the research behind that work. It is not naive to say that there is research performed to address policy questions and each party does so form a particular perspective-- yes they are looking at the research through partisan lenses but that is the point. Each party needs to know how a given policy proposal will have an impact on their political priorities and philosophy.

A party that cares about low income people may for example want to study how an idea will affect them-- another would look at the same policy from the perspective of profit. Each should be able to evaluate policy and propose policy based on their political philosophy and they can't do that without research.

janfromthebruce

I would like to see the voter subsidy kept because someone who may live in a riding where their candidate and/or party of choice is not competitive at least feel like their "vote matters" and is important to the party.

 

Our family also donates to the party on a monthly bases and I find it very very helpful for income tax purposes. Just my 2 cents worth in the conversation.

Fidel

I think Canadians should start rallying across the country and calling for an end to the stoogery in Ottawa. That would fix the bastards. They'd soon cease yip-yapping about money in politics.

ygtbk

N.Beltov wrote:

ygtbk wrote:
Having a lovely day - Thanks!

Since kids can't vote, I clearly wasn't talking about them. Please do try to keep up and not use gratuitous "think of the children" arguments.

On the other hand, I'm fine with all the things you listed being advertised to adults - if you don't like the commercial, then turn it off. If you're smart enough to vote, you're clearly smart enough to do that.

Children don't have that choice that you presume for adults. Nor are they equipped with the ability to distinguish between a commercial and a program. Children under 8 cannot distinguish what is called persuasive intent from adults. These are easily confirmed facts. That's why, perhaps, the province of Quebec has banned advertising to children under 13. They clearly don't share ideology driven views such as the market idolatry or fundamentalist "free speech" advocacy that you've put forward.

Clearly, libertarian fundamentalism should have no role in determining public policy on these matters.

Libertarian Fundamentalism - heh! Free speech is basic for people on these boards - I assume you know that. You're clearly hard of reading since I just said I was talking to adults. I'm so happy for you that children are not exposed to dangerous ideas, but I was TRYING to talk to the grown-ups.

taxation is slavery

Thanks for the link Fidel

Before catchfire bans me... Immigrants should be allowed to vote, eventually. Citizenship typically takes a few years, so they miss out on one election, they need time to get familiar with the country and the political choices anyway.

ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

I think Canadians should start rallying across the country and calling for an end to the stoogery in Ottawa. That would fix the bastards. They'd soon cease yip-yapping about money in politics.

Fidel, do you have a point other than "Vote NDP!". Because, if that is your point, we got it years ago.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

ygtbk wrote:
Libertarian Fundamentalism - heh! Free speech is basic for people on these boards - I assume you know that. You're clearly hard of reading since I just said I was talking to adults. I'm so happy for you that children are not exposed to dangerous ideas, but I was TRYING to talk to the grown-ups.

My original point, which you've completely failed to address, is that advertising is NOT free speech by virtue of the demonstrable harm it does to children. It is not simply the Supreme Court, whose views you reject, but basic arguments about the public good.

Rigth wing libertarians don't really believe in the public good or society, do they?

ygtbk

N.Beltov wrote:

ygtbk wrote:
Libertarian Fundamentalism - heh! Free speech is basic for people on these boards - I assume you know that. You're clearly hard of reading since I just said I was talking to adults. I'm so happy for you that children are not exposed to dangerous ideas, but I was TRYING to talk to the grown-ups.

My original point, which you've completely failed to address, is that advertising is NOT free speech by virtue of the demonstrable harm it does to children. It is not simply the Supreme Court, whose views you reject, but basic arguments about the public good.

Rigth wing libertarians don't really believe in the public good or society, do they?

No spelling flames here. I'm fine with advertising to adults - I pre-emptively conceded the advertising to kids point to you. It's not my fault that the SCOC is stupid.

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