Minister Flaherty is rumored to be ready to cut election subsidies to political parties. Plenty of other blogs break down the numbers and explain why this hurts the Conservatives less than other parties even though they give up more money.
A common reaction to the subsidy is "Why should I pay someone to run against me, and turn my own taxes against me?" Look at the recent American presidential election and ask yourself if more money makes a difference in the election. Many Americans certainly think so. But then ask yourself, is that right? Should the election result be determined by private money? When tables turn, do you want that money used against you?
Another parallel with America is campaigning before the writ is dropped (e.g. attack ads on Dion). If this continues, we'll be forever in campaign mode. Well, I hope election weary Canadians remember who is advertising before the writ, and delivers them a message. I don't want to live in a permanent campaign and debate the merit of motions in parliament on the basis of whether I'll be re-elected - though that is probably already a hazard anyway.
Angry in the Great White North asks "Why is our democracy so fragile that it has to propped up with taxpayer money?" It's not about propping up democracy, it's about protecting it for all the people, not just the rich or best fundraisers.
Another Point of View points out (with good links) how Canada is spending more on democracy in Afghanistan than the amount of this subsidy.
Section 15 points out that the political donation tax credits are public money the Conservatives aren't complaining about. For example, if you make a $100 donation, you get a $75 tax credit - which comes from the public money. So a $100 donation only costs the donor $25 after tax. Why don't the Conservatives axe this subsidy? Because it works in their favor, of course. Just another small piece of evidence that the Conservatives are not willing to work within a minority and are constantly searching for new ways to grab more power.
Conservative MP Dave Anderson used parliamentary mailing privileges to influence the election of directors of the Canadian Wheat Board. Isn't that using public money to fund election campaigning? "Hello, pot? It's me kettle."
And barring the media from the recent Conservative convention? It shows the Conservatives don't value democracy within their own party. How fair is that to those tories who couldn't make the trip to Winnipeg as delegates? I guess if they were richer, then they'd count.
Remember Harper avoiding media questions during the last election? Evidence is piling up that Harper and the Conservatives don't believe in democracy, they believe in the tyranny of the majority.
If you're on facebook, you could join the I Support Public Campaign Financing group. Or if you're really angry like me, you could donate to one of the parties.