The Conservative minority government is gunning for the opposition (again). This time they want to end public funding of what are pretty much "public" organizations (the parties).
Conservatives CLAIM they raise their funds from individual donors... What a load of hoey... If the NDP were to get donations from Union Members who are told/implored by their unions to donate and the Conservatives bitch about that, then what right do they have to claim ANY of their donations?
A bulk of Conservative donations come from Church groups who are organized. No different than unions, these "special interest" groups the Conservatives have tapped into are driving the majority of funds raised by the Conservative Party. Are the Conservatives "better" at fund-raising? I think not. They have simply tapped into a special interest lobby that no-one has recognized as one yet. Everyone takes pot-shots at union groups or "big business", but who is speaking out about the bulk of Conservative donations which come from individuals told to do so by their church? I mean, c'mon, I think a "message from God" is far more potent than what your union or boss tells you to do...
The special interest groups the Conservatives tap into are as "wrongly" (or rightly) involved as the ones the NDP and Liberals tap into. Just how much money do groups like the Gun lobby, anti-choice groups, and "crime victims" give to the Conservative Party via the "proxy giving process"? A LOT. The Conservative "base" are these very same groups.
It's time we make some noise about the Conservative's own special interests... but also highlight the hypocracy. Can we stop individuals (that represent their church's wishes) from donating? Of course not. But it is organized behaviour run by organizations that share the Conservative's ideological bent. Perhaps we look at regulation to enforce "equal time for speakers" within all these organizations? Of course we shouldn't. What we need to do instead, is maintain public funding based on votes... in the long run...
What appears to be happening, is that Conservatives are also fearing the next election. They cannot compete with a resurgent Liberal Party, that will have votes from Coast to Coast, and funds from an amazing number of Canadians - translated into funds. This is their pre-election "shot across the bow". Will it pass? Only the Opposition can decide.
I'm in favor of our party focusing on the financial crisis, and letting this thing through. Once we're back in power, we can put it back - if we need to... In the meantime, we can actually REALLY renew the party by bringing a strong focus on fund-raising to the leadership contest.
Let's take the challenge and renew our fundraising process. It will be good for the party in the long run.