For years now, the hue and cry has been that political parties and politicians are ‘ bought’ by those who make substantial contributions to their campaigns.
That may or may not be true, but to eliminate the possibility of that happening, there is a simple solution… eliminate political contributions from private donors and fund the cost of elections with tax dollars.
It’s not a radical idea; here in Ontario we already foot the bill for general elections to the tune of about $100 million, and also provide significant rebates to candidates and generous tax rebates to those who make political contributions.
The Harper government nixed the per vote subsidy for political parties, most likely because he figured that his Conservative Party could raise more money than his opponents.
But that system creates the perception that government is beholding to the corporations who contribute the big bucks to the campaign.
If we’re sincere about reforming our electoral system, we should start with how elections are funded.
Maybe it’s time to eliminate political contributions altogether.
That might send a message to elected officials that they represent you and me, the taxpayers, and not the people who wrote the biggest cheques for their campaigns.