Harper eliminating political subsidies

It appears that the elimination of subsidies for political parties will be a key plank of the new Conservative budget in June. The $2-a-vote annual subsidy was originally created by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s Liberal government in 2004 after new donor limits were placed on individuals and corporations – a move designed to steer Canada away from the American-style political financing.

In the time since 2004 the Conservative party has proven to be far more efficient in raising its own funds than the other political parties, and does not depend on it like the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc have. The subsidy’s detractors say that public money should not be handed over to political parties, but have also been accused of taking advantage of a Conservative strength to severely injure all of the other parties in the House of Commons.

After winning the 2008 election, Harper tried to eliminate the subsidy, but this backfired when all of the other parties threatened to form a coalition government in opposition to the decision. However now, with a majority government, the Conservatives will be able to axe the political subsidy with little trouble.

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