Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Did Canadian taxpayers save the Bloc Québécois?

[Click on image to enlarge]

I know it's a little late to be revisiting the last Canadian general election, but when it comes to my hard earned tax dollars and how they're used, any time or place is fair game. Anyway, to make a long story short, I was clicking around a few public policy websites last night and happened to stumble upon this fascinating report on campaign finance by Frontier Centre's Mark Milke. Let me tell you, What Saved The Bloc Québécois in the 2008 Election: Public Money is a great read from opening to closing — but what caught my eye above and beyond everything else was the bar graph illustrated above.

For those who find it difficult to read the graph straight up, the blueish green bar to the left represents dollars earned from public sources (specifically the $1.95-per-vote given to registered federal parties annually by Elections Canada), while the grey bar indicates private donations. As you can see from all five examples, the party whose public funding far exceeded its private funding was the separatist party, the Bloc Québécois. They received almost 12 times as much public funding as they did from private donations. No other party even came close to that unbalanced level of financing. As a benchmark, take a look at the Conservatives, their private funding actually exceeded the funding received from public sources. Quite a drastic difference from the pathetic $73,704 the separatist raised since 2008 compared to the $1.5 million we gave 'em in that same time period. A comparative public/private ratio which works out to around 20:1 running up to the fall election. Brutal.

Anyway, as I see it, it's bad enough that the Bloc Québécois (in their 18 years of existence) only passed 4 pieces of legislation in total, not to mention, all the hefty federal pensions they built up over the years via our tax dollars, but for them to be using our money to rescue their fortunes in the last election is ludicrous to say the least. I mean honestly, how many seats did we buy the Bloc anyway?

Let's just say, my consciences hopes it was zero, but my gut suspects it was a lot more --- at the very least a handful. In my books, even one is one too many, especially when you're talking about our tax follars funding separatist. I mean really, can anyone else think of another example — in any Western country — of a government who fully funds a party or group with the intent of breaking their country?

Only in Canada my dear Watson.


At Oct 30, 2008, 7:26:00 AM , Blogger Rob said...

I've slowly learned to accept the Bloc Quebecois, only because it had made Ottawa visible in Quebec. Before 1993, most Quebecois worth their political salt when to Quebec City. The National Assembly was the heart of political action in the province, while the Parliament Buildings were a sideshow where action carried on mostly in English.

Since the BQ's stint in Official Opposition, the use of French has increased in Parliament. Quebec is more aware of federal politics, and tied directly to it, through the sovereignist party. The seperatists have done more to integrate federal politics into Quebec than any other party. Once again, only in Canada.

The above was meant as an aside. Federal funding didn't save the BQ. I imagine the Prime Minister's performance last election would have ensured at least a quarantaine of BQ seats would have remained such.

Federal funding saved the Liberal party. The Conservatives raised almost 5 times as much as the Grits. That's astonishing, and barring federal funding, could have been devastating.

At Oct 30, 2008, 11:21:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's astonishing! I hear many of them stay away from Ottawa for months and years at a time. And you thought senators were slack.

At Oct 30, 2008, 11:28:00 AM , Blogger nbt said...

Federal funding saved the Liberal party. The Conservatives raised almost 5 times as much as the Grits. That's astonishing, and barring federal funding, could have been devastating.

Good point. I think the opposite can be said down south where Obama is outspending McCain to the tune of $278 million to $176 million on broadcast and cable TV. Which also includes $3 million for last night's 30-minute infomercial on seven national television networks. It seems to be making a difference in key battleground states.

At Oct 30, 2008, 12:34:00 PM , Anonymous bill said...

Glad to have all you guys back.

At Oct 30, 2008, 2:00:00 PM , Anonymous henry j said...

It's hard to believe the Liberals only raised $439,675 more then the NDP. Hard times.

At Oct 30, 2008, 3:07:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quebec? I can't believe that Charest is claiming that Quebec is getting their fair share of equalization.

At Oct 30, 2008, 11:26:00 PM , Blogger Iain G. Foulds said...

... In a nation based upon the principles of liberty, citizens are not forced to support political parties.

At Oct 31, 2008, 12:13:00 PM , Blogger nbt said...

bill: thanks for stopping by!

henry j.: that's one of their biggest challenges moving stop fighting with the NDP for the centre-left vote.

anonymous: seems a bit silly considering the amounts of corporate welfare dumped in there.

iain g. foulds: Very true.

At Nov 2, 2008, 11:47:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are always giving stuff to Quebec and yet they seem so ungrateful.

At Nov 3, 2008, 10:04:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

They get a seat on UNESCO and they still want more.

At Nov 3, 2008, 11:03:00 AM , Blogger Rob said...

They get a seat on UNESCO and they still want more.

That's true. Somewhere between 45 to 55 percent of them want their own country.


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