Editorial – The Corruption Party of Canada

No, this isn’t about any of the parties currently running. I was just thinking lately about how some of the rules regarding campaign financing for our election are poorly thought out.

As I’m sure You’re aware, when you donate to a political party, you receive up to 75% of that donation back as a tax deduction. The maximum deduction is $650 if you donate $1,275, which is about 51%. Then, once a campaign has started, 60% of campaign expenses will be reimbursed if the candidate receives at least 10% of the vote in their riding. What qualifies as a campaign expense is left extremely loose. You could, for instance, pay any number of people $1,275 to “advertise” for you. Perhaps even the exact number of people who donate $1,275 to you. Whether they actually do or not is irrelevant.

I’m sure some of you can see where I’m going with this already. So far as I can tell, there’s very little preventing anybody from running as a candidate in an election for the sole purpose of receiving donations and paying most of that donation back to those who donated. The scheme would be that you pay this “candidate” your $1,275, or whatever you can afford, and then he turns around and hires you to “advertise” for his campaign at a cost of 90% of what you donated. The candidate keeps 10% to cover his accounting expenses and to make his own profit on the scheme.

You’ve then essentially paid $128 for a tax deduction of $650. Even better, you don’t actually have to have the $1,275 to begin with, as it can be donated “in services”

But wait, this gets worse. The candidate lets you know that if he gets 10% of the vote in the riding, he will pay back all of his donors proportionately to what they donated. So if you donated the full amount, you’d receive an additional $765 once the campaign ends. So now you’ve received a net $1,287 in combined tax deduction and repayment, all for the cost of a vote. More than you ever “donated” in the first place.

And where this gets really bad? What if It’s a tight riding and enough people are in on the scheme that the candidate wins? Now we’ve elected someone specifically because they (and we) are corrupt enough to take advantage of the system. On the bright side, I guess there’d be no doubt about what we elected.

Of course, all of this leaves me with the question, “anybody want to help me start this new party?”

In a slightly more serious note, be sure to check out our Meeting the Minds, with Dr. Mark McCutcheon. Also this issue, Barb Lehtiniemi comes forward and makes a confession, plus reviews, advice, and interviews to help improve your state of mind, if not your marks.

Enjoy the read!

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