Canada’s Globe and Mail is reporting that the nation’s minority Conservative government is proposing to end taxpayers’ $27m subsidy of political parties as part of a series of austerity measures.
Each Canadian political party receives Can$1.95pa for every vote that they received at the last election. The subsidy was introduced a few years ago as part of a compensation package for parties agreeing not to take money from corporations and trade unions.
Although the subsidy most benefits the CanCons (as the largest party) they also need it least – being much more successful than the left-wing opposition parties at being able to raise small amounts of money from lots of grassroots Canadians. The National Post:
"The Conservatives will characterize the cuts as belt-tightening that
politicians must do to set an example for the rest of the country, but
it will have a disproportionate effect on each party. For the
Conservatives, for example, the public subsidy accounted for just 35%
of their revenue in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30. But the
subsidy accounted for about two thirds of the revenue of the Bloc
Quebecois and the Liberal Party."
The CanCons take a Thatcherite view of funding decisions; controversially defunding ‘fringe arts groups’ before the last election.