Political Welfare and Taxpayer abuse.

With a Canadian election likely in 2009, and the recent spotlight on pay per vote subsidy, I decided to do some background research on the Conservative Party’s so called in and out cash grab from the taxpayers pocket. Yes, I know it’s old news, but the fact is that it is hard to get at the local details of this boondoggle using Election Canada’s electronic database, so I wanted to track the cash flows riding by riding.

Here's the Transfer

Here's the Transfer

My premise is that the Conservatives will camapaign on revoking the $1.95 per vote subsidy to Political Party’s labeling it as welfare, and a greedy grab for the taxpayers money. It’s no surprise  that everybody loves to catch a hypocrite, so I decided to document the Conservatives apparent past abuses in all their grisly details, in a nice easy to refer to spreadsheet format. I’m sure that all my fellow bloggers would be delighted to have some specific details on their local CPC candidate, and I thought this effort would be a good public service.

So here I am, 12 hours later, and I’ve only manged to completely document the Provinces of BC, and Alberta. The Elections Canada site has lots of data, but the dowloads aren’t exactly in a user friendly format. Still, I’m getting my cut and paste routines down pretty well by now, and within another couple of weeks, I will be able to put a downloadable spreadsheet up here for the world to borrow.

Aha! A Clue!

Aha! A Clue!

As usual, the devil lies in the details. The gross numbers are, well, boring. The Conservative Party transferred about $2.358 mm to various campaigns during the course of the election return period. Individual campaigns appeared to transfer approximately $496,000 back to the CPC. So what?

Well, lets look at a representative example. The David Matta campaign in Surrey North, BC., recognised a payment of $15,000 to the Conservative Party of Canada, dated May 8, 2006. This payable was an election expense, and so eligible for a taxpayer subsidy. The Conservative Party made a transfer to the Surrey North Campaign on May 31, 2006 for $15,000. The CPC recognised a non-monetary transfer of $15,000 from the Surrey North Campaign, back to the CPC in 2006. The actual transfer date is withheld. In plain English, several months after the election, the CPC and the Campaign decided that the Campaign owed $15,000 to the CPC for unspecified election services. They obligingly switched the money in and out of the Campaign, which entitled the Campaign to receive a $9,000 cheque, courtesy of the Taxpayer. If the same analysis holds true for the rest of Canada, ( And CPC transfers in Quebec were really enormous) then the taxpayers forked out almost $300,000 because of an accounting sleight of hand.

I have a lot more checking to do, but there were over $2 million in transfers to play with, so you can imagine just how much of the Taxpayers money was funneled to Conservative Campaigns all over the country. Since surplus funds are then transferred back to the Riding association, and the Riding association can transfer funds back and forth with the Party in between elections, the scope, and opportunity for self dealing, and squeezing the maximum from the public purse are a Lawyers, or an auditors dream come true. If you check back here in the new year, you will find exactly how much money your’ local Conservatives received from the taxpayer from this tidy little arrangement. Actually, we’ll never find that out exactly, because it would take a full blown forensic audit, but I’ll at least have what they have not shrouded in obscure accounts.

The Conservatives have run into a number of problems with Elections Canada, including the improperly treated convention fees at their 2005 Convention, that some people say might have been the cause of the mysterious, and sudden resignation of the Elections Canada Chief, Jean-Pierre Kingsley. His surprise resignation was announced the day after the Conservatives re-submitted their financial statements to reflect the changes made to bring them into compliance with the law.

As you may have gathered by now, I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about Election Finance. I’ve read “An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act (political financing),  AKA; Bill C-24 end to end, (Yes, I have masochistic tendencies). There are just so many loopholes in spending limits, so many ways to circumvent the intent of the law, and even the letter of the law. It is pretty fundamental to a free society to keep dirty money, and improper influence out of the electoral system. Really, it’s about time we eliminated private donations, and made elections 100% publicly funded, with Criminal sanctions against those who break the law. That’s a whole other post though.

And don’t forget, Politics can be fun, and it’s part of your civic duty to pay attention. Please, join the Green Party of Canada, and do your bit!


3 Responses

  1. Harper is a immoral, a fraud, a liar and too bad Governor General of Canada is in Harper’s bad pocket still..

    Conservatives now clearly stands for immoral con artists! Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper especially.

    ” Let’s be honest folks, if Harper the Coward could have gotten a handful of Bloc MPs to vote for his non-budget to keep his non-government alive, he would have welcomed them with open arms. Whatever spin is available, that spin will be spun. Here we are perpetuating the debate like little puppets, when the real travesty is Harper the Coward’s incompetence and intransigence. ‘

    “The Cons have a minority and in Harper the Coward’s own words, a minority govt’s mandate is to work with the other parties, to consult with them, in order to ensure the confidence of Parliament. Harper the Coward’s minority non-budget has made a mockery of Canadian democracy and has betrayed Canadian voters in two ways:
    1) It was purely partisan, self-interested, and opportunistic legislation that if anything was destructive of the Canadian consensus on which this country was built.
    2) It was, for any other purpose, completely inadequate to address any of the domestic and global challenges Canada is currently facing. In other words, for any constructive purpose, it was useless.
    Harper the Coward can hide back in his tar pit for a time. Cancel federal funding for political parties and you let the voice from the oil pit ($Alberta$) speak louder than all the others. In today’s media-dominated world, that is hardly democratic.”

    ” Gen. Michaelle Jean has done the Canadian political left a great service by agreeing with Stephen Harper’s request to prorogue Parliament. The coalition is politically unworkable. Four days in and they are already having trouble putting forth a united front. The best thing for the Liberals is to choose a new leader (my choice would be Dominic LeBlanc) while Harper is forced to deal with a worsening economic situation. Because of the recent economic update and its poison pills, Harper is the sole reason why Canada has a political crisis overshadowing a dire economic situation. His original miscalculation (the Liberals, in the middle of a leadership campaign, would not be in a position to oppose him) has been magnified by having to plead with the GG to save his political skin. He has managed not only to unite the left, but royally annoy a great many of his caucus, party members and supporters for placing his government at risk. He has fatally blundered.” Kevin Powell, Calgary

    30 percent of the persons are real crooks in Canada too, they do too often abuse others, cheat, lie , steal, likely commit tax evasions, are drug addicts, drunks.. and they do thus oppose the application of justice, law and order.. Now what about the other 70 percent who do not do this.. and they do want the laws applied fairly and justly do they get heard too? acted upon rather? The Laws still do need to be enforced in reality.

    Open the barn door a little and next it tends to be wide open. Allow a politician like Harper wrongfully a little vice and he tends to dramatically escalate it as well.

    (1 Tim 5:20 KJV) “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. 22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” and that is what I do now too.

    The Conservative Minister also who emphasizes and says he or she believes in a “democracy”, democratic government, also clearly does not even believe in the same thing I do, for apparently they do think that democracy means now they can now do whatever they wants without any personal restraints, inhibitions, consequences, good or bad things as well.. sounds also to me more like a Libertarian or Liberal in behavior now too. and do note this becoming a scrooge, becoming a bully, a selfish self centered person, having a lack of consideration for the good welfare of others, escalates in the case of an alcoholic.

    The WRONGFULLY STILL Unrepentant bully’s problem is that he or she is one of those bad persons who only feels truly alive when voicing hostility and contempt for his “enemies.” Without that, he or she starts gasping for air. It’s his nature.. self-destructive” .. clearly these immoral Bully, Basher of others, Abusers of others has a disappointed, deflated ego, negative self worth, most likely related to past unresolved guilt, as a result of that the bully, he or she, tries falsely to build their ego up by bashing, hating others, by being an antagonists against his proclaimed enemies, which too often also is most people , for he or she no longer trust anyone, and Abusers this is a common very typical approach, fact in the character build up of Bullies, Bashers, but their approach is futile, the subsequent feeling of self worth dissipates too quickly, are actually replaced by guilt, and his ego, self worth likely needs to be recharged with new hate.. and is replaced with more and larger hatred of the others. I have seen this type of wrong behavior not just in bad managers, bad politicians, bad persons, but in alcoholics, and most often in Albertan rednecks ,but also in religious fundamentals evangelicals who promote hated towards Pentecostal Christians as well, and now as well as the crooked pastor wrongfully fighting for control over others.

    Public exposure and prosecution of these bad persons here too services everyone’s best interest.

    Now no one really wants me to foolishly believe that these type of persons now can be cured simply, merely by giving them any kind of probationary or warning notice..

  2. I eagerly await your spreadsheet, have tried to do similar things with other government information only to find that there seems to be a deliberate polcy of making the information hard to examine and compare. MPs expenses (PDF) for instance is copy protected, this for a “public” document??
    Its even tougher on my rural dial up!

  3. […] mere pittance compared to how much money Canadians shovel at their political Party’s. As the in-and-out scandal has highlighted, 60% of all electoral expenses get rebated to the local campaigns, (provided they exceed 10% of the […]

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