Back in 2003 when Jean Chretien was still Prime Minister of Canada he put through a piece of legislation which I thought was pure genius and ahead of its time.
The legislation made it illegal for corporations and other interest groups to make political donations to any political party. Instead, however many votes a Party received during the last Federal Election, they would get $1.95 per vote. That way smaller fringe Parties would have the opportunity to get their voices heard more readily, and would take way the opportunity for large Corporations and Interest Groups to effectively “buy power”.
When this came into effect I thought it was brilliant. An individual, private citizen, cannot donate more than $10K – so again, setting a limitation so that the democratic process would not be hindered by special interest groups.
Now Stephen Harper and Jim “Flip-Flop” Flaherty have decided that given the economic climate that this particular programme should be cut, saving the Federal coffers $36M a year. Considering how much the Federal Government spends each year, that is not even one-tenth of one percent of the funds leaving the coffers. At the moment the Federal Conservative Party is flush with cash, while the other parties are hurting financially. In effect, as many pundits have argued, the Conservatives are attacking the democratic process – as a poor Party cannot wager an effective campaign if its “war chest” is empty.
Please read this for more insight.