Apr. 6th, 2011

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Harper really does makes me spitting mad.

The justification to do away with vote subsidies is...
"taxpayers should not have to support parties they don't support with their votes"
but subsidies are awarded entirely based on vote distribution. If I vote NDP, the NDP gets $2, therefore, I, as a taxpayer, am supporting a party.....FOR WHICH I VOTED.

Harper's rationale here is so mind bogglingly absurd, that you swear he must have been drunk when he said it. The only ghost of reality that is in this statement, is that a poor person vote is worth the same subsidy as a rich person vote, but of course the tax contribution of that poor person is not the same. So what he's saying is that rich people should not have to support parties favoured by poor people". Then comes this gem.

"This enormous cheque that keeps piling into parties ever month whether they raise any money or not that means we're constantly having campaigns, the war chests are always full for another campaign,"

This is first of all deceitful (it's quarterly I am pretty sure...I am a bit hazy on this point). Secondly, it doesn't match reality. The implication is that parties with a smaller fundraising base would be disproportionately more willing to prompt elections. However, Harper himself was the main motivating force behind the last 2 elections (when he was opposition, and then again when he decided that he didn't like the currently parliamentary composition). The conservatives are hands-down champions at grass roots fundraising, meaning they rely the least on the subsidy, meaning that it wasn't the subsidy that prompted the most recent election campaigns. This means that a) subsidies do not automatically cause small parties to force elections, and b) the conservatives are hurt the least by the removal of the subsidies, and their opposition hurt the most.

Now a case could be made about getting rid of subsidies, but I personally think it's a good thing. It's a 1 for 1 reward for the favour of the voting public, and more to the point, encourages small parties to try and be a part of the political process. It's one of the few ways the smaller parties actually get any benefit from even attempting to fight their way through a first past the post system. Now it's no surprise that Harper will use this kind of an issue as a tool for political leverage by attempting to directly cripple opposition through partisan federal policy under the poor disguise of non-partisan policy, but it is one of the many reasons why I think Canada could be harmed in very real ways if he is ever allowed to gain a majority.

Somehow this man, with all his autocratic leadership style, oppressive restrictions on journalists, congressional contempt, and downright disingenuous statements like his hypocritical and false harping (ha! harping...get it?) on the coalitions, continues to do disturbingly well in the polls.. For the record, the recent coalition discussion in 2008 was a coalition of the NDP and Liberals. The Bloc was not part of this coalition, they only agreed to support the coalition in the voting process. In 2004 conversely, Harper proposed a coalition, but this time including the Bloc.

So shut your mouth Mr. Harper.

July 2011

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