Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The end of Canadian democracy

The removal of the per-vote subsidy for party funding is back on. CBC commenter bluevladivostok probably sums up some of the baser sentiments behind the move.

Elated to see that for the first time in a long time, Conservatives reign supreme in Parliament.

NDP are mere benchwarmers.

Liberals have become impotent.

The Bloc have been slayed.

The Greens are just for appearances.

And for four more years! I love it!!!
It is fair to assume that this is only the beginning. In the next four years the Conservatives will do everything they can to destroy the opposition parties' capacity to defeat or resist them.

Meanwhile, at least one of the major opposition parties is spending its days mumbling at its navel about which leader will return it to its former glory.


Beijing York said...

Very depressing. This treachery is barely making a dent in the news cycle. Last time it actually sparked the useless Opposition to agree to a coalition against Harper. Now... crickets.

Dana said...

No one is seriously trying to claim we didn't have democracy prior to the per vote subsidy are they?

Are they?

Get a grip folks.

This isn't the end of the world either.

Edstock said...

Believe in Stevie — he has what it takes to screw up magnificently. IMHO, the F-35 will be the start of his problems.

Beijing York said...

I heard the cost of this subsidy is $27 million. Not much in the scheme of federal expenditures. What I would like to know is what the current tax write off for federal political donations costs the treasury in lost revenue. If as Harper claims, it's the taxpayers footing this so called costly measure, lets then get rid of the tax credit for political donations while we're at it.

At least the subsidy was allotted equitably. The tax credit benefits those Canadians with deep pockets the most.

Brian said...

I'm quite sure that there will be court challenges against this. Let's not panic just yet folks.

Dana said...

There's no constitutional or charter grounds for a challenge. If there were either the courts would have demanded implementation long before Chretien instituted them.

The subsidies will be gone. Get used to it.

This isn't a minority parliament any more children. There are no constraints *of any kind* over what Harper wants to do other than his desire not to lose the next federal election.

Given the pig headed blindness of the LPC and NDP and Harper's own capacity for strategic triangulation he isn't going to lose it either. He may even increase his majority if he plays his cards right.

The sheer stupidity of the non-Harper crowd is immeasurable and unconscionable.

And will remain so for the duration.

We have a new reality that your children and grand children will understand as normal.

Suck it up and recognize that things have changed and that blame is easily and clearly parcelled and that as of right now nothing is going to change for the foreseeable future other than for the worse.

Unknown said...

removal of public political financing

In Canada pre-election campaign advertisement spending is unregulated.
The removal of public political financing will only lead to greater
political favoritism and corruption of the public trust.

I bring to your attention the well documented findings of
Corruption and democracy: Political finances - conflicts of interest -
lobbying - justice (2008)

Author(s) :
Alexander Seger, Drago Kos, Alvis Vilks, Ömer Faruk Gençkaya, Manuel
Villoria Mendieta, Alan Doig, Siim Kallas, Rogier Chorus, William
Dinan, David Miller, Pim Albers, Nihal Jayawickrama
ISBN 978-92-871-6355-4

The effects of unregulated political financing is summarized on page
34. I also highly recommend reading the whole document.

At the same time, unregulated political finances carry considerable risks

- they exacerbate political inequality. The principle of "one person,
one vote" is compromised by unequal influence bought through
contributions. Financial contributions create an uneven playing field
where big money (often coming from the corporate sector) has an undue
advantage. Interested money may override equal voting rights and equal
access to decision makers and elected office;

- political money may buy access to office and access to decision
makers. Those in a position to contribute have a greater chance to be
heard by political decision makers. And those able to finance
political parties and electoral "pre-election" campaigns have bigger
chance to secure places on election lists of established by political

- elections may represent less a competition of political positions
and ideas and more the ability of political parties and candidates to
raise funds, leading to an arms or propaganda race disconnected from
political debate;

- political parties and politicians risk being co-opted to represent
and pursue particular interests rather than the common public
interest. They are more accountable to those who pay than to their
constituency. This risk is particularly great if parties rely on a
small number of donors only. Parties relying on private funding may
have a weaker connection to their voters and are less connected to
party members. Party leaders may transform contributions into
political capital to secure control over their party;

- unregulated political finances are not transparent. It is thus
impossible for voters to determine whose interests politicians are
representing, and to hold them accountable.

croghan27 said...

"The sheer stupidity of the non-Harper crowd is immeasurable and unconscionable. "

Find someone pissed in your cornflakes this morning, did we?

Dana said...

I don't eat processed food.

Sing to me the hymns of brilliance of the non-Harper crowd.

Go ahead.

Anytime you're fuckin' ready.

Take your time.

Fuckin' idiots.

Dana said...

What? No brilliance to sing to me?

No paeans to the glories of majority Conservative parliaments?

No encomiums to the majesty of an official opposition that's never before been one? Especially with a whole whack of parliamentary rookies who don't know Robert's rules from the dread pirate and will likely take 3 years to figure out that Jack Layton doesn't actually sign their cheques?

No panegyric to the briliance of splitting the non-Harper vote to ensure that none, not one, not any of the sacred NDP cows ever have a chance of getting to the floor? Oh, never mind, my bad, the NDP brain trust already made sure of that back in '06.

Fuckin' idiots.

Gonna make a victory out of abject defeat whatever it takes aren't ya?

Like a woman raped repeatedly by her abusive husband telling the judge that really he loves her.

And, yes, I mean to be as insulting and obnoxious as that metaphor implies.

You're all fuckin' willfully deaf, dumb and blind and I'll have nothing more to do with any of you.

Goodnight and fuck you.