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[Canada] Politics of the Democratic Friedmanite Republic of the Government of Harper

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Posts

  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Much of the rest of Canada has an irrational hatred for Toronto, so I can see why it might be good to avoid talking about it at the federal level.

    We're number 2! We're number 2!

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Much of the rest of Canada has an irrational hatred for Toronto, so I can see why it might be good to avoid talking about it at the federal level.

    I remember when I lived in Alberta people would bitch endlessly about Toronto. I couldn't figure out why they cared so fucking much.

  • CorporateGoonCorporateGoon Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    shryke wrote: »
    Much of the rest of Canada has an irrational hatred for Toronto, so I can see why it might be good to avoid talking about it at the federal level.

    I remember when I lived in Alberta people would bitch endlessly about Toronto. I couldn't figure out why they cared so fucking much.

    I lived in Calgary for a while, and I always figured it was a penis envy thing since our phallic tower in Toronto is taller than theirs.

  • Nova_CNova_C Sniff Sniff Snorf Beyond The WallRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I spent three days in Toronto. While there I shocked everyone I met because I wasn't an inbred super conservative hick cowboy. Stereotypes are for douchebags, guys. No city has an edge in douchebaggery.

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  • pdk01pdk01 Registered User
    edited May 2011
    Nova_C wrote: »
    I spent three days in Toronto. While there I shocked everyone I met because I wasn't an inbred super conservative hick cowboy. Stereotypes are for douchebags, guys. No city has an edge in douchebaggery.

    Maaaaybe Vancouver.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I spent three days in Toronto. While there I shocked everyone I met because I wasn't an inbred super conservative hick cowboy. Stereotypes are for douchebags, guys. No city has an edge in douchebaggery.

    Try going to Red Deer and saying this again with a straight face.

    The days of expecting complimentary stab wounds if you headed to any of the bars downtown at night are probably over by now, but it's still quite loudly and proudly home of the ignorant asshole.

    The overwhelming majority of the public in that little shitburg applaused and cheered when the announcements were made about the Michener homes being bulldozed because 'it was such a bloated, wasteful expense' housing all of those disabled people.

    'Yup, 'dem tardies, d'ese such a buncha' loafers! Time t' ship 'em out and make 'emselfs usefuls, h'yuck! I's had some hard times m'self an' y'dun see me livin' in da lap a' gubmitt luxrees, h'yuck!'
    I remember when I lived in Alberta people would bitch endlessly about Toronto. I couldn't figure out why they cared so fucking much.

    It's simple: people here are stupid and are quite happy to have an under-funded, piss-poor, supstition-poisoned education system. People in Toronto, Ottowa, Victoria, Halifax, etc, are able to recieve real educations and are proud of that, so people in Alberta deride them as being 'elistis' that are 'out of touch with 'the real deal'.

    Toronto just gets some extra hate because it's also gay-friendly and where Albertan's perceive Trudeau as drawing most of his English-speaking support.


    In other news:

    Lots of talking heads on BNN today discussing the increasing problem of water scarcity in Canada. Of course, according to the wealthy economists brought on to chat-up the issue, it's not really an issue of scarcity - that's just a 'myth' - it's an issue of water 'not being properly allocated'.

    The solution, therefore, is to start treating water like a traded commodity akin to oil.

    In other words, by 'not properly allocated', they actually mean, 'well, all of these poor people and natives have access (well, sometimes) to the same water we rich people do, and that's not right. Clearly the wealthy are the ones who deserve the clean tap water and the rest of the schmucks can either collect rainwater or use coupons to buy bottles of it from Nestle or something'.

    ...My daemon is just double-facepalming. We're going to hear these same talking points from Harper Gov 3, aren't we?

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  • Nova_CNova_C Sniff Sniff Snorf Beyond The WallRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The Ender wrote: »
    I remember when I lived in Alberta people would bitch endlessly about Toronto. I couldn't figure out why they cared so fucking much.

    It's simple: people here are stupid and are quite happy to have an under-funded, piss-poor, supstition-poisoned education system. People in Toronto, Ottowa, Victoria, Halifax, etc, are able to recieve real educations and are proud of that, so people in Alberta deride them as being 'elistis' that are 'out of touch with 'the real deal'.

    Toronto just gets some extra hate because it's also gay-friendly and where Albertan's perceive Trudeau as drawing most of his English-speaking support.

    Like I said.

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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    We have water scarcity in Canada? Since when? Last I checked we had one lake per person, and enough water that we were debating selling it internationally.

    Except in Native reserves of course, where they didn't have access to drinking water. And in parts of Québec near shale gas mines, where the water is contaminated by gas and can literally catch on fire.

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  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    We have water scarcity in Canada? Since when? Last I checked we had one lake per person, and enough water that we were debating selling it internationally.

    Except in Native reserves of course, where they didn't have access to drinking water. And in parts of Québec near shale gas mines, where the water is contaminated by gas and can literally catch on fire.

    Drinking water availability is actually a big concern in Canada. The Atlantic provinces are doing OK, but our drinking water is very much at-risk over the long haul due to climate instability. Everything east of the coast and west of Manitoba is definitely in a highly water-restricted environment, especially given current population growth trends. People moving into cities and out of the countryside is creating a large, localized water demand that rivers just cannot keep up with.

    We have this image in our minds, this collective idea that drinking water is easy to get in Canada. Outside of the great lakes, that's not really true. Even in so-called "water rich" areas like cottage country, drinking water infrastructure is often dated and somewhat inadequate for the demands of their slowly growing population. It goes beyond inadequate drinking/wastewater processing: Peterborough, a shitty town if there ever was one, is fed by a single river. If one of the many industrial plants nearby it had a fiasco, then the entire city would be S O L. Our risk exposure is HUGE.

    It's impossible to do anything about it though because your average Canadian looks at pictures like this and goes
    ela_01.jpg

    "What do you mean "risk" and "local water concerns" y'all just a bunch of greedy scientists looking to push your agenda on us derrppppppp!"

    And thus far, we haven't figured out the right messaging to sell this idea to the public. That's more our fault then the public's, but yeah.

  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Nova_C wrote: »
    I spent three days in Toronto. While there I shocked everyone I met because I wasn't an inbred super conservative hick cowboy. Stereotypes are for douchebags, guys. No city has an edge in douchebaggery.

    I'm actually going to say that the east coast has a real edge on the douchebaggery. Most cities are actually pretty damn welcoming of other people, but out east you're always "from Toronto" or "from Alberta". You can live here 7 years and people still call you a Torontonian. Newfoundland is the worst for this.

  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Robman wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    I spent three days in Toronto. While there I shocked everyone I met because I wasn't an inbred super conservative hick cowboy. Stereotypes are for douchebags, guys. No city has an edge in douchebaggery.

    I'm actually going to say that the east coast has a real edge on the douchebaggery. Most cities are actually pretty damn welcoming of other people, but out east you're always "from Toronto" or "from Alberta". You can live here 7 years and people still call you a Torontonian. Newfoundland is the worst for this.

    I think PEI is actually the worst.

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  • CorporateGoonCorporateGoon Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    It's the accents. No matter how long you're out east you can never lose that big-city Toronto accent.

    Also, Fabian Manning hit a moose. He lost the election, and now a moose tried to kill him. Dude just can't catch a break... except for that whole being reappointed to the Senate thing.

  • TheGerbilTheGerbil Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    My experience in Calgary at least (working in the university and some corporations) is that no one cares where you are from as long as you can do your job competently.

    That may be due to the incredibly corporate atmosphere of this city though. It is almost too white collar.

  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Robman wrote: »
    Drinking water availability is actually a big concern in Canada. The Atlantic provinces are doing OK, but our drinking water is very much at-risk over the long haul due to climate instability. Everything east of the coast and west of Manitoba is definitely in a highly water-restricted environment, especially given current population growth trends. People moving into cities and out of the countryside is creating a large, localized water demand that rivers just cannot keep up with.

    We have this image in our minds, this collective idea that drinking water is easy to get in Canada. Outside of the great lakes, that's not really true. Even in so-called "water rich" areas like cottage country, drinking water infrastructure is often dated and somewhat inadequate for the demands of their slowly growing population. It goes beyond inadequate drinking/wastewater processing: Peterborough, a shitty town if there ever was one, is fed by a single river. If one of the many industrial plants nearby it had a fiasco, then the entire city would be S O L. Our risk exposure is HUGE.

    It's impossible to do anything about it though because your average Canadian looks at pictures like this and goes
    ela_01.jpg

    "What do you mean "risk" and "local water concerns" y'all just a bunch of greedy scientists looking to push your agenda on us derrppppppp!"

    And thus far, we haven't figured out the right messaging to sell this idea to the public. That's more our fault then the public's, but yeah.

    I think is totally different than what The Ender was referring to. Or at least, the stuff he was referring to wouldn't fix this shit at all. Water is a life essential. If there's a shortage of water, demand hits infinity, and capitalist microeconomics shits a brick. If there's an excess of water, well... then you run into a touchy issue of how you charge differentially for drinking water - which people need to live - versus non-essential water usages, such as industrial or for plants or whatnot. Unless you don't... in which case the price of water must be pretty darn low (or the public'd tar and feather you), in which case the demand curbing effect is minimal.

    That being said, water management is likely to be a critical issue in certain regions of the country in the future. There are places where water's aplenty, but the infrastructure's lagging or crumbling, but that's just a matter of money and investment. Other areas are going to be a lot more hard-pressed, in particular with the effects of climate change coming. For example, any community dependent on Rocky Mountain snowcap water's going to be in a lot of trouble, as the snowcap's been receding very significantly and is unlikely to exist before the end of the century.


    Edit: Also, I don't know much about it, but from what I've heard, Saskatchewan's education system sounds absolutely delightful.

  • LaOsLaOs Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    hippofant wrote: »
    *snip*
    Edit: Also, I don't know much about it, but from what I've heard, Saskatchewan's education system sounds absolutely delightful.

    Hmm?

  • EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Welp, there goes the per-vote subsidies.

    Apparently there's going to be a 'weaning-off' for the political parties, and this is going to roll in with the new budget.

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  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Entriech wrote: »
    Welp, there goes the per-vote subsidies.

    Apparently there's going to be a 'weaning-off' for the political parties, and this is going to roll in with the new budget.

    Oh hey check it out: Harper is going to keep doing the same shit with a majority that he did with a minority, except there isn't enough opposition to stop him from shafting the other parties.

    Spoiler:
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Three weeks, a little longer than I expected

  • CorporateGoonCorporateGoon Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Three weeks, a little longer than I expected

    Three weeks longer? They've been trying to do this for years. But it's one of the things that really makes me wonder what the hell they're going to do with four years in power. The subsidies will be gone as soon as the budget passes, the omnibus crime bill will pass in 100 days, they'll get rid of the long-gun registry ASAP... so what's left? Getting rid of the Canadian Wheat Board? Shiny new jets? I don't seem to recall them outlining any grand long-term plans, so I can't imagine what they're going to do with all this time and no meaningful opposition.

  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Three weeks, a little longer than I expected

    Three weeks longer? They've been trying to do this for years. But it's one of the things that really makes me wonder what the hell they're going to do with four years in power. The subsidies will be gone as soon as the budget passes, the omnibus crime bill will pass in 100 days, they'll get rid of the long-gun registry ASAP... so what's left? Getting rid of the Canadian Wheat Board? Shiny new jets? I don't seem to recall them outlining any grand long-term plans, so I can't imagine what they're going to do with all this time and no meaningful opposition.

    I would assume once they eliminate the per vote subsidies, they will be raising the cap on personal donations and reinstating the tax credit for corporate donations.

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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Entriech wrote: »
    Welp, there goes the per-vote subsidies.

    Apparently there's going to be a 'weaning-off' for the political parties, and this is going to roll in with the new budget.
    "Taxpayers shouldn't have to support political parties that they don't support," Harper said.
    Because we all know that people vote for the party they don't support.

    RichyFlag.gifsig.gif
  • CorporateGoonCorporateGoon Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Three weeks, a little longer than I expected

    Three weeks longer? They've been trying to do this for years. But it's one of the things that really makes me wonder what the hell they're going to do with four years in power. The subsidies will be gone as soon as the budget passes, the omnibus crime bill will pass in 100 days, they'll get rid of the long-gun registry ASAP... so what's left? Getting rid of the Canadian Wheat Board? Shiny new jets? I don't seem to recall them outlining any grand long-term plans, so I can't imagine what they're going to do with all this time and no meaningful opposition.

    I would assume once they eliminate the per vote subsidies, they will be raising the cap on personal donations and reinstating the tax credit for corporate donations.

    I dunno. Seems like being the party that put corporate money back into politics wouldn't really be good for their popularity, and it might actually help their opposition. The NDP could get some of that sweet sweet union money.

    Raising the personal cap doesn't make sense either, since they're the ones who lowered it in the first place. Of course, doing things that don't make sense isn't exactly a stretch for politicians, so what do I know?

  • oldmankenoldmanken Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Never underestimate the Conservative zeal for selling off assets and Crown corporations, or deeply cut an already over-worked federal service.

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I dunno. Seems like being the party that put corporate money back into politics wouldn't really be good for their popularity, and it might actually help their opposition. The NDP could get some of that sweet sweet union money.

    Raising the personal cap doesn't make sense either, since they're the ones who lowered it in the first place. Of course, doing things that don't make sense isn't exactly a stretch for politicians, so what do I know?
    All the shit Harper did in the past 5 years didn't hurt his popularity. All the shit he did during the election didn't hurt his popularity. I don't see how turning political parties into franchises of major corporations will hurt his popularity five years from now.

    RichyFlag.gifsig.gif
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    oldmanken wrote: »
    Never underestimate the Conservative zeal for selling off assets and Crown corporations, or deeply cut an already over-worked federal service.
    Duh. Our government doesn't have money to both subsidize oil companies and provide much-needed services to the population with quality and efficiency.

    RichyFlag.gifsig.gif
  • CorporateGoonCorporateGoon Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    I dunno. Seems like being the party that put corporate money back into politics wouldn't really be good for their popularity, and it might actually help their opposition. The NDP could get some of that sweet sweet union money.

    Raising the personal cap doesn't make sense either, since they're the ones who lowered it in the first place. Of course, doing things that don't make sense isn't exactly a stretch for politicians, so what do I know?
    All the shit Harper did in the past 5 years didn't hurt his popularity. All the shit he did during the election didn't hurt his popularity. I don't see how turning political parties into franchises of major corporations will hurt his popularity five years from now.

    Perhaps it won't hurt, but it definitely won't help. Besides, giving your opponents a new source of funding is a tactical misstep, so I don't see it happening. There isn't really a good way to spin it, either. We don't have that whole "Corporations are people, too" thing like they do in the US.

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    I dunno. Seems like being the party that put corporate money back into politics wouldn't really be good for their popularity, and it might actually help their opposition. The NDP could get some of that sweet sweet union money.

    Raising the personal cap doesn't make sense either, since they're the ones who lowered it in the first place. Of course, doing things that don't make sense isn't exactly a stretch for politicians, so what do I know?
    All the shit Harper did in the past 5 years didn't hurt his popularity. All the shit he did during the election didn't hurt his popularity. I don't see how turning political parties into franchises of major corporations will hurt his popularity five years from now.

    Perhaps it won't hurt, but it definitely won't help. Besides, giving your opponents a new source of funding is a tactical misstep, so I don't see it happening. There isn't really a good way to spin it, either. We don't have that whole "Corporations are people, too" thing like they do in the US.
    Giving your opponents a new source of funding is not a misstep if you can get more from that source than they can. And between the NDP and the CPC, I think we know which one will bend over backward for a corporate penny. Especially from Alberta oil companies.

    RichyFlag.gifsig.gif
  • CorporateGoonCorporateGoon Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    I dunno. Seems like being the party that put corporate money back into politics wouldn't really be good for their popularity, and it might actually help their opposition. The NDP could get some of that sweet sweet union money.

    Raising the personal cap doesn't make sense either, since they're the ones who lowered it in the first place. Of course, doing things that don't make sense isn't exactly a stretch for politicians, so what do I know?
    All the shit Harper did in the past 5 years didn't hurt his popularity. All the shit he did during the election didn't hurt his popularity. I don't see how turning political parties into franchises of major corporations will hurt his popularity five years from now.

    Perhaps it won't hurt, but it definitely won't help. Besides, giving your opponents a new source of funding is a tactical misstep, so I don't see it happening. There isn't really a good way to spin it, either. We don't have that whole "Corporations are people, too" thing like they do in the US.
    Giving your opponents a new source of funding is not a misstep if you can get more from that source than they can. And between the NDP and the CPC, I think we know which one will bend over backward for a corporate penny. Especially from Alberta oil companies.

    If I recall correctly, the Liberals were the big beneficiary of corporate money back in the day. The oil companies would certainly give to the Tories, but the NDP could snag the unions, and the Liberals could get the telecoms. Then it's all one big clusterfuck with everyone tripping over themselves to suck off the corporations.

    But I don't see the need, since as it is the Conservatives have more money than they know what to do with. That's part of what caused the In-and-Out scandal: The party had more cash than they were legally allowed to spend. If they want to enter a perpetual campaign, they might allow corporate money, but who the hell wants that? The election campaigns we have nowadays are like six weeks, and even that's too long.

  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Back in the day, though, the liberals were really a centrist party that had a pretty good lock on government, so it made perfect sense for corporate interests to donate to them to try and get a leg up in terms of how they're treated by the government.

    With the liberals shrunk and the NDP representing more of a leftist view, I think we'll find the Cons benefit the most from removing party subsidies. Otherwise I honestly don't think they'd do it. But they saw something that they could get rid of while still playing up to the ideology of their base. Really a win-win for them.

    Also, seems like the conservatives are happy to use extra cash to buy air time and push their agenda outside of election time.

    Erik
  • CorporateGoonCorporateGoon Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Getting rid of the subsidies will force the opposition to build new fundraising machines. The Grits will get a new, more charismatic leader (it'd be hard to get a less charismatic one) who can bring in the cash, and the NDP will be able to appeal to people in Quebec. With four solid years to raise money, I think the subsidies are probably irrelevant at this point. Except maybe for the Bloc. Their potential donor pool is considerably smaller than the other parties'.

  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Getting rid of the subsidies will force the opposition to build new fundraising machines.

    Uh. Not a good thing? I want my government leaders actually... you know, governing, rather than fundraising all the time. It's one of the major issues with the American political machine - Congresspeople spend more time fundraising than actually legislating, to the extent that their worldview becomes badly distorted because they're spending all their time with wealthy donors, industrialists and lobbyists.


    Political subsidies are, in many ways, a price to be paid for a vibrant, healthy, competitive democracy. One might quibble as to how those subsidies are decided and allocated, but I don't see how this in any way improves Canada. Does anybody? I guess we save $25M... but on a macroeconomic level, we don't really, since parties will raise the $25M from Canadians anyways, just distributed differently, and the $25M was being spent in Canada anyways.

    Just another example of "small government" thinking resulting in bigger, less efficient, more bureaucratic government.

  • CorporateGoonCorporateGoon Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    hippofant wrote: »
    Getting rid of the subsidies will force the opposition to build new fundraising machines.

    Uh. Not a good thing? I want my government leaders actually... you know, governing, rather than fundraising all the time. It's one of the major issues with the American political machine - Congresspeople spend more time fundraising than actually legislating, to the extent that their worldview becomes badly distorted because they're spending all their time with wealthy donors, industrialists and lobbyists.


    Political subsidies are, in many ways, a price to be paid for a vibrant, healthy, competitive democracy. One might quibble as to how those subsidies are decided and allocated, but I don't see how this in any way improves Canada. Does anybody? I guess we save $25M... but on a macroeconomic level, we don't really, since parties will raise the $25M from Canadians anyways, just distributed differently, and the $25M was being spent in Canada anyways.

    Just another example of "small government" thinking resulting in bigger, less efficient, more bureaucratic government.

    Unless they change some other laws, we won't have the problems they do in the US. Right now, the maximum individual donation is $1100 per year, which doesn't really scream "wealthy donor" to me. In fact, in 2009, the average donation to the Tories was only $175, with the Liberals and NDP bringing in more like $320.

    Plus, most of the fundraising is done by the party and not the individual MPs. Candidates can only spend something like $80-100,000 during an election campaign, so it's not like they need to bring in vast sums of money all the time. $2000/month from now until the next election will pretty much max them out. The party's fundraising machines will take care of the vast majority of the work, and the legislators will be free to legislate.

  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    hippofant wrote: »
    Getting rid of the subsidies will force the opposition to build new fundraising machines.

    Uh. Not a good thing? I want my government leaders actually... you know, governing, rather than fundraising all the time. It's one of the major issues with the American political machine - Congresspeople spend more time fundraising than actually legislating, to the extent that their worldview becomes badly distorted because they're spending all their time with wealthy donors, industrialists and lobbyists.


    Political subsidies are, in many ways, a price to be paid for a vibrant, healthy, competitive democracy. One might quibble as to how those subsidies are decided and allocated, but I don't see how this in any way improves Canada. Does anybody? I guess we save $25M... but on a macroeconomic level, we don't really, since parties will raise the $25M from Canadians anyways, just distributed differently, and the $25M was being spent in Canada anyways.

    Just another example of "small government" thinking resulting in bigger, less efficient, more bureaucratic government.

    Unless they change some other laws, we won't have the problems they do in the US. Right now, the maximum individual donation is $1100 per year, which doesn't really scream "wealthy donor" to me. In fact, in 2009, the average donation to the Tories was only $175, with the Liberals and NDP bringing in more like $320.

    Plus, most of the fundraising is done by the party and not the individual MPs. Candidates can only spend something like $80-100,000 during an election campaign, so it's not like they need to bring in vast sums of money all the time. $2000/month from now until the next election will pretty much max them out. The party's fundraising machines will take care of the vast majority of the work, and the legislators will be free to legislate.

    $1100 a year is 5% of my annual income, which represents my entire charity budget for the year. It's a little less than 2% of the income of the median Canadian household. It's not an insignificant amount of change, and when we consider who's likely to donate... I think it's a bit of a straw man to suggest, if you are, that "wealthy donors" consist only of millionaires and billionaires.

    Also, that may be how fundraising is done now. But this move has definitely shifted importance away from performance towards fundraising. I can't necessarily predict how it'll play out, but I'd consider it a rather foolish notion that this move won't increase the amount of time our MPs and Senators spend fundraising. And certainly, the fact that parties will be doing more fundraising is, in and of itself, also undesirable, because now the ability to raise funds is a major component in a party's electability (or even more so than before)!

    I'm certainly not suggesting that the situation is now immediately as bad as it is in the United States, but it's a step in that (wrong) direction imo, and it seems to be for basically zero gain. We could have easily simulated this change by slightly shifting income tax rates in a more progressive direction so as to mimic the distribution of political donations versus income, saved ourselves all the extra wasted work fundraising and all the political ramifications thereof.

    Again, I would ask of anybody: what's the gain? The losses are evident. What's the gain? How are we better off now than we were yesterday?

  • psyck0psyck0 Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Herp Derp smaller government, amirite you conservative lurkers I know exist?

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  • CorporateGoonCorporateGoon Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    hippofant wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Getting rid of the subsidies will force the opposition to build new fundraising machines.

    Uh. Not a good thing? I want my government leaders actually... you know, governing, rather than fundraising all the time. It's one of the major issues with the American political machine - Congresspeople spend more time fundraising than actually legislating, to the extent that their worldview becomes badly distorted because they're spending all their time with wealthy donors, industrialists and lobbyists.


    Political subsidies are, in many ways, a price to be paid for a vibrant, healthy, competitive democracy. One might quibble as to how those subsidies are decided and allocated, but I don't see how this in any way improves Canada. Does anybody? I guess we save $25M... but on a macroeconomic level, we don't really, since parties will raise the $25M from Canadians anyways, just distributed differently, and the $25M was being spent in Canada anyways.

    Just another example of "small government" thinking resulting in bigger, less efficient, more bureaucratic government.

    Unless they change some other laws, we won't have the problems they do in the US. Right now, the maximum individual donation is $1100 per year, which doesn't really scream "wealthy donor" to me. In fact, in 2009, the average donation to the Tories was only $175, with the Liberals and NDP bringing in more like $320.

    Plus, most of the fundraising is done by the party and not the individual MPs. Candidates can only spend something like $80-100,000 during an election campaign, so it's not like they need to bring in vast sums of money all the time. $2000/month from now until the next election will pretty much max them out. The party's fundraising machines will take care of the vast majority of the work, and the legislators will be free to legislate.

    $1100 a year is 5% of my annual income, which represents my entire charity budget for the year. It's a little less than 2% of the income of the median Canadian household. It's not an insignificant amount of change, and when we consider who's likely to donate... I think it's a bit of a straw man to suggest, if you are, that "wealthy donors" consist only of millionaires and billionaires.

    Also, that may be how fundraising is done now. But this move has definitely shifted importance away from performance towards fundraising. I can't necessarily predict how it'll play out, but I'd consider it a rather foolish notion that this move won't increase the amount of time our MPs and Senators spend fundraising. And certainly, the fact that parties will be doing more fundraising is, in and of itself, also undesirable, because now the ability to raise funds is a major component in a party's electability (or even more so than before)!

    I'm certainly not suggesting that the situation is now immediately as bad as it is in the United States, but it's a step in that (wrong) direction imo, and it seems to be for basically zero gain. We could have easily simulated this change by slightly shifting income tax rates in a more progressive direction so as to mimic the distribution of political donations versus income, saved ourselves all the extra wasted work fundraising and all the political ramifications thereof.

    Again, I would ask of anybody: what's the gain? The losses are evident. What's the gain? How are we better off now than we were yesterday?

    I wouldn't say we're better or worse off than we were before. The subsidies were only in place for something like eight years, so it's not like some grand old institution has been destroyed. The parties are just going to have to go back to raising money the way they used to.

    And they're not going to be collecting it from "wealthy donors" whoever they may be. They'll be getting it in small amounts from large numbers of donors. Most people don't give anywhere near the maximum amount, and it's better to get $50 from 20 people than $1000 from one. Certain folks will give the maximum, but it's not like $1100 entitles you to any special favours.

    It could even turn out to be a good thing. The need to raise more money from the voters could lead to more interaction with the voters, which could lead to a better-informed electorate. If I were to donate to a political party, I'd certainly be interested in the positions of that party, and in how they were intending to spend my money.

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    hippofant wrote: »
    I guess we save $25M... but on a macroeconomic level, we don't really, since parties will raise the $25M from Canadians anyways, just distributed differently, and the $25M was being spent in Canada anyways.

    Actually, that's wrong. That was $25M of tax money, which will now be allocated to something else instead of the vote subsidies. We won't be getting the money back. So we're not actually saving a penny, we're still paying the $25M in taxes. And as you said, the parties will fundraise the $25M they need from Canadian taxpayers directly now. So now we're spending $50M where we were spending $25M before.

    That's small government for you :^:

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  • CorporateGoonCorporateGoon Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    I guess we save $25M... but on a macroeconomic level, we don't really, since parties will raise the $25M from Canadians anyways, just distributed differently, and the $25M was being spent in Canada anyways.

    Actually, that's wrong. That was $25M of tax money, which will now be allocated to something else instead of the vote subsidies. We won't be getting the money back. So we're not actually saving a penny, we're still paying the $25M in taxes. And as you said, the parties will fundraise the $25M they need from Canadian taxpayers directly now. So now we're spending $50M where we were spending $25M before.

    That's small government for you :^:

    If you want to talk shifts in spending, that $25 million is going to come off people's disposable income, so it'll just be going towards politics rather than gum or whatever.

    However you slice it, that's $25 million in tax money that's freed up to do something else. They could refund it, lower taxes somehow, or just put it towards reducing the deficit. It's definitely smaller government, and actually well in keeping with conservative economic principles.

    To tell the truth, it doesn't bother me that much that the Tories are getting rid of the subsidy. It bothers me that they're lying about why they're doing it.

  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    It is less individual donors that are going to become large influences due to the removal of public funding, and more the party planners who get together a couple dozen / hundred moderately wealthy individuals who all pool their donations.

    I'm pretty sure the Americans have a term for them, essentially the guns for hire that do the $250 a plate dinners for candidates, to let you write them a big cheque while chatting their ear off about what you want them to do once they get elected.

    And I'm pretty sure political donations are fully refundable, so anyone paying enough income taxes that actually cross the maximum donation limit threshold, can donate the maximum amount and not be out any pocket change once they file their returns.

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  • SloSlo Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    I guess we save $25M... but on a macroeconomic level, we don't really, since parties will raise the $25M from Canadians anyways, just distributed differently, and the $25M was being spent in Canada anyways.

    Actually, that's wrong. That was $25M of tax money, which will now be allocated to something else instead of the vote subsidies. We won't be getting the money back. So we're not actually saving a penny, we're still paying the $25M in taxes. And as you said, the parties will fundraise the $25M they need from Canadian taxpayers directly now. So now we're spending $50M where we were spending $25M before.

    That's small government for you :^:

    If you want to talk shifts in spending, that $25 million is going to come off people's disposable income, so it'll just be going towards politics rather than gum or whatever.

    However you slice it, that's $25 million in tax money that's freed up to do something else. They could refund it, lower taxes somehow, or just put it towards reducing the deficit. It's definitely smaller government, and actually well in keeping with conservative economic principles.

    To tell the truth, it doesn't bother me that much that the Tories are getting rid of the subsidy. It bothers me that they're lying about why they're doing it.

    Well just up and saying 'We're doing this because its easier for us to raise money than these other guys, so we can throw election campaigning at you 24/7 for the next 5 years without voting subsidies anyways.' doesn't exactly sound good.

  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    I guess we save $25M... but on a macroeconomic level, we don't really, since parties will raise the $25M from Canadians anyways, just distributed differently, and the $25M was being spent in Canada anyways.

    Actually, that's wrong. That was $25M of tax money, which will now be allocated to something else instead of the vote subsidies. We won't be getting the money back. So we're not actually saving a penny, we're still paying the $25M in taxes. And as you said, the parties will fundraise the $25M they need from Canadian taxpayers directly now. So now we're spending $50M where we were spending $25M before.

    That's small government for you :^:

    If you want to talk shifts in spending, that $25 million is going to come off people's disposable income, so it'll just be going towards politics rather than gum or whatever.

    However you slice it, that's $25 million in tax money that's freed up to do something else. They could refund it, lower taxes somehow, or just put it towards reducing the deficit. It's definitely smaller government, and actually well in keeping with conservative economic principles.

    To tell the truth, it doesn't bother me that much that the Tories are getting rid of the subsidy. It bothers me that they're lying about why they're doing it.

    Yeah, okay, let's look at the before and after pictures.

    Before: People paid $25M in taxes and this money went to the political parties.

    After: People still pay $25M in taxes, but this money will now go to other things. The political parties are unlikely, after a few years, to be raising less than $25M (a supposition on my part that once the benchmark has been set, it's hard to back down from that value without losing ground in what amounts to a zero-sum electoral game). So now, political parties are going to be spending more money and time raising $25M from some upper bracket of Canadian earners.

    Alternative: People still pay $25M in taxes, but this money will now go to other things. We add a new tax or levy or whatever that takes $550 from Canada's top earners in a greedy fashion until we reach $25M, which then goes to the political parties. (We can quibble about the exact implementation, but whatevs. I probably wouldn't implement it as a separate tax, but just reproportion existing revenue...)

    Now, if I compare the After with the Alternative, my question is... how is the After picture in any way superior? Political parties still get their money, coming from roughly the same people that would be giving it otherwise. Some people will be "donating" more than they would, others less, but on average it'll be even. Some parties will be receiving more than they would, others less, but assuming that fundraising ability is proportional to electoral support, it'll be minimally deviant.

    Advantages? Political parties and representatives don't need to spend time and money fundraising. Policies don't need to be skewed to appeal to wealthier Canadians who are more likely to donate. It'll be possible, hypothetically, for a party that only appeals to poor Canadians to be electorally viable, when they would otherwise be blown out due to a total inability to raise funds, because fundraising ability will be disconnected from electability. Elections Canada doesn't need to spend as much time and money tracking this increase in donations. We won't need to carefully monitor, regulate, and safeguard our election funding rules (as much).

    I mean, CorporateGoon, do you deny that all of these advantages exist?


    (I'll admit though, that I'm not sure I'm not in wholehearted support of a system in which political parties are supported solely by government subsidies based on electoral support. I just don't see a superior alternative.)

    (We could also, I suppose, have the government ask for donations that are then pooled and distributed to the political parties. This would have the same effect of minimizing administrative overhead plus disconnecting fundraising ability from electability, but I'm unsure as to how effective such a measure would be.)

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