Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tories move to cut 27 million subsidy for parties

Of course what should happen next is that the opposition simply defeats the Conservatives for this cynical ploy to place the Conservatives in a better position than the opposition especially the Liberals who are already broke. However, the funding helped most third parties who can attract less money from the moneyed class. The total amount is chicken feed in terms of the money needed to do much about the deficit. The Conservatives will do their best to cut any progressive programmes using the defict as an excuse. At the same time billions will be spent to bail out the economy and to support the growth of the military-industrial complex.
The Liberals should vote against the Conservatives but since it is a confidence motion and the Liberals fear Dion II even more than bankruptcy we will have a replay of the Hand wringing Hand sitting Liberals of the last session.

Opposition takes hit as Tories move to cut $27-million subsidy for parties
Flaherty expected to predict first deficit in 13 years
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
November 27, 2008 at 1:08 AM EST
OTTAWA — The Harper government is proposing to end a $27-million subsidy for political parties in today's fiscal and economic update – a measure taken in the name of federal belt-tightening that also threatens to hit opposition parties especially hard in the wallet.
The Conservatives have traditionally fared the best at grassroots political fundraising and depended less on a per-vote subsidy, introduced by former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien when he passed legislation in 2003 ending corporate and union donations to federal parties.
The controversial measure is likely to distract attention today from looming fiscal problems facing the Tories.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is expected to announce in the update that the federal government could run its first budget deficit in half a generation next year – a historic slide back into the red that could deepen when the Tories introduce a planned economic stimulus budget early next year.

The Tories are expected to publish a range of forecasts today including projections showing a deficit in the 2009-2010 fiscal year – which would be the first shortfall in 13 years.
Opposition parties denounced the proposal to end per-vote subsidies in the name of economic restraint as a partisan power play.
“They're using the update to hurt their rivals … it's playing Karl Rove politics – getting people upset against the political class generally,” said NDP finance critic Thomas Mulcair, referring to a former adviser to U.S. President George W. Bush.
The Tories are expected to make it costly for rival parties to fight their proposal by introducing legislation to eliminate the subsidy, worth $1.95 per vote annually. The legislation is expected to be a money bill and therefore a confidence vote, which means defeating it could trigger another election. If this happened, the Tories could blame rival parties for refusing to make sacrifices.
“We will see who wants to lead by example,” Conservative government House Leader Jay Hill told MPs in the House of Commons yesterday.
The Tories would lose the most money in absolute terms – because the subsidy is distributed according to the number of votes received in the last election – but the proposal would hit other parties such as the Liberals and Bloc Québécois more because these organizations are less successful at fundraising and more reliant on the per-vote subsidy.
Liberal finance critic Scott Brison said his party was still deliberating on whether to oppose the proposal, but said it marks an early return to political gamesmanship by the Tories after the election.
“Stephen Harper is trying to change the channel,” he said, accusing the Tories of trying to redirect attention from Ottawa's weakened financial state.
The Tories, however, will defend their proposal, saying parties would still benefit from generous tax credits for individual political contributions and taxpayer reimbursement of candidates' expenses.

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