Ignore ‘Cap-in-Hand’ Chretien – Stop Liberal Leeching!

Scarcely had Stephen Harper sat down with a glass of CC to toast his victory, than the wizened geezer in the photo above demands that he break a key campaign pledge.
The Prime Minister ought to reconsider his promise to end the direct per-vote subsidy for political parties, says Liberal ex-PM Jean Chrétien, the man who established the existing system by which tazx-payers are ripped off because political parties are too unpopular or too darn idle to raise their own funds.

When Harper tried to end the $2 per vote subsidy in 2008, the uproar from the parasites on the Opposition benches almost forced him from office. The Grits like their largesse from ordinary Canadians’ pockets and Chretien exemplifies their reluctance to persuade the public to donate, rather than just gouge them. Ca.news. on Yahoo yesterday told us of his whining.
“So, you know, it means that money in Canadian politics is less important than elsewhere, a lot less important,” Chrétien said. “The parties receive it if they are serious, they receive a subsidy from the state. But they don’t become prisoners of raising the money.”
So which parties, Jean, are not serious. Maybe yours, that sank to its lowest level ever, despite public subsidy?
Seriously, who on earth would say that money is not important in politics?
But if they all operate under the same rules, the abolition of the Chretien Cap-in-Hand law would be perfectly fair.

The Chrétien government created the per-vote direct subsidy in 2004, when it banned corporate donations to parties and limited contributions to ridings or candidates to $1,000 per year. Individual donations were capped at $1,000 per party and $5,000 total, down from $10,000.
In 2006, the new Harper government dropped the individual limit to $1,000 (adjusted to inflation; it was $1,100 in 2010 and will be $1,200 in 2011) and imposed a complete ban on donations from corporations, unions and organizations. Donations to political parties are eligible for up to a 75 per cent rebate.

It is really quite shameful that parties which expect, or at least say they expect, to form a government, cannot find enough grass-roots supporters willing to give them enough money to run a campaign.