So an old math teacher/swim coach of mine posted this on facebook. On the surface it may seem reasonable and even Canadian at heart, giving every party a fair and subsidized opportunity to present themselves. Unfortunately, this is actually quite counter to the democratic notions that our beautiful nation is founded on.
1)As far as I’m concerned, this is a misnomer: the real issue is government support of parties (which greatly helps to keep the Green party relevant). If you can’t convince your members to support you, then why should you receive money from everyone in the country? This subsidized democracy gives parties, who haven’t earned the right to be competitive, the opportunity to become a political wedge. Since no major party is targeted uniquely at the poor, there should be sufficient supporters to step up and fund their respective parties, particularly if individual donation caps and total spending caps are put in place.
2)I’d like to start by saying that I’m not against ad reform, but I have yet to hear a reasonable, viable proposal. From where I’m sitting, getting rid of paid political advertising will have little to no benefit(at least as proposed here). Similar results can be achieved by implementing rules such as forcing all campaign ads to not mention other parties. More importantly, most (if not all) of the nations mentioned allow “policy ads,” which can be designed to perform almost identically to an attack ad, sometimes even more successfully. Furthermore. this also doesn’t consider the validity of the arguments presented in such ads – a statement of fact that reveals flaws in an opponent’s campaign is extremely important, both in bringing the issue to the public’s attention and in helping parties identify platform problems. It seems more that ads aimed at defamation are the real issue.
3) As far as motive goes, this is just an uncompetitive Green party griping about their lack of fiscal backing.
4) It seems to me that what the Green party is proposing is actually thoroughly UNDEMOCRATIC – an equal distribution of airtime ignores party membership and support, treating parties as equals when they most certainly are not. Think of it this way – do we have an equal number of house seats for New Brunswick MPs and Ontario MPs? No, we distribute them according to a weighting of the population. What makes political parties special? The purchase of airtime is both the most socially optimal and market efficient option available. Think about it like this: donations are a proxy for member support of a party, the party then selects the airtime and messages to best represent themselves given their budget. If you want more members and donations, stop looking for handouts and hit the ground grass-roots style. Earn your right to be competitive!