Public funding for Quebec’s separatist party

I didn’t know this:

The one [federal political] party that now barely tries to raise money is the Bloc Québécois, because the public subsidy it receives (largely from outside Quebec) is so large. Thus, taxpayers in the rest of Canada are hugely subsidizing a party whose ambition is to break up Canada, allowing separatists to channel almost all of their fundraising efforts into supporting the Parti Québécois [the provincial separatist party].

Jeffrey Simpson, describing an unintended consequence of a fairly recent change to Canada’s electoral laws. The law

bans donations from corporations and unions and limits individual donations to $1,100. To offset the strict rules, political parties receive a taxpayer subsidy of $1.75 for every vote garnered in the last election.

The law is supposed to prevent political parties from becoming beholden to corporate donors with oodles of cash. That it disproportionately benefits the Bloc is, as I said, an unintended consequence.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. nebcanuck
    Nov 17, 2007 @ 23:38:02

    Interesting to note. I think it’s amusing when a government funds programs designed to reduce its effectiveness. Reminds me of the Catholic School board being mandatory — classic move to keep the power away from the protestants as much as possible, but now a thorn in the side of a far less divided culture!


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