Saturday, June 06, 2009

The generous Canadian taxpayer paying millions for Conservative ads

Given the political tax credit regime we have in this country, it's worth pointing out that the $5-6 million Conservative smear campaign is being financed in substantial part by the Canadian taxpayer.

Contributors to Conservative coffers (and all others) get tax credits financed by Canadian taxpayers for those donations. On donations of between $0 - $400, the donor gets 75% of their contribution back in the form of tax credits.

Let's say that the majority of the $5-6 million ad buy is being financed by contributions in the $0 - $400 range, just for the sake of an example. And let's just call it $6 million. That means that the Canadian taxpayer is reimbursing these donors to the tune of 75% of $6 million. $4.5 million from Canadians for these ads.

Does that seem right at the height of a recession?

(But perhaps we're getting a good return on our investment?)

Update (7:20 p.m.): To be clear, this is not a slag against public financing in any respect whatsoever. Canadians support public financing. But we count on political parties to manage public financing appropriately and they all do, except the one that is presently dinging us, per above. That party is also fighting Elections Canada in court and is being investigated by them. We know who that party is.