Fewer subsidies, more engagement

Fewer subsidies, more engagement Re per-vote subsidy: Though some may cry foul about the Conservative's plan to eliminate the $2-per-vote subsidy, I see it as a potentially good thing for Canadian democracy. Funding is a critical component of successfu

Re per-vote subsidy:

Though some may cry foul about the Conservative’s plan to eliminate the $2-per-vote subsidy, I see it as a potentially good thing for Canadian democracy.

Funding is a critical component of successful political campaigns and the Conservatives are better at it than the other parties É for the time being.

But with the cancellation of the subsidy, I predict we’ll see an increase in political contributions from individuals to make up for the loss of this $2 per vote.

Let’s face it, every party is going to have to find ways of engaging their voters and getting them to open their wallets.

And they may not have as much trouble as you might think, thanks to a couple of other subsidies. The first is a tax credit where a portion of your contribution to a political party and/or candidate is taken off your taxes. This is as high as a 75 per cent credit for the first $400 contributed. So, if you contribute $100 to a political party of your choosing, it only ends up costing you $25. Political parties are also reimbursed for up to 50 per cent of their election-related costs.

So, yes, the $2-per-vote subsidy will disappear, but I hope this leads to an increase in political engagement. Political parties will be out there telling us why we should donate and how they are representing us. Could this lead to a more engaged public, maybe even to an increased voter turnout?

Well, we’ll see. But the main point is that if you want to make up for the loss of the $2-per-year subsidy, it’ll only cost you $0.50 per year. That is pretty good value, if you ask me. So, I’ll encourage all voters to put their money where their mouth is.

And if you don’t have money to contribute, you can always volunteer, or even write a letter to the editor to share your (political) views.

Nathan Millar

Whitehorse