FINANCING ELECTIONS

The financing of candidates and political parties would be done, exclusively, on a publicly-funded basis. A Democracy Surcharge would be levied on each taxpayer every year. This would be done with the filing of income tax on an annual basis in the form of a $10.00 Democracy Surcharge. All campaign financing would come from this fund, called the Canada Democracy Fund.

Each and every candidate would be eligible for the determined amount of campaign financing, irrespective of past electoral performance or party affiliation. Any political party fielding candidates in more than 60% of the ridings, would be eligible for party administration funding. Expenses would have to be filed by each candidate and those documents would be subject to audit.

To be eligible each candidate would submit the nomination form containing a fixed number of signatures from registered voters. (The number of signatures required might range from 500 to as many as 1000. Here the intention is to discourage frivolous candidates from claiming election expenses.)

In Canada, an average of $92,000.00 was spent by each candidate in the 2011 Federal election. In that election, there were about 5 candidates running for office in each of 308 ridings. If there were a total of 22 million tax returns filed in 2010, then a Democracy Surcharge of $10 per return would almost pay for the candidates’ funding in a single year. If the Democracy Surcharge were assessed every year then during the four years between elections, sufficient money would be accumulated to pay for all election expenses, including the public funding of candidates’ campaign costs.

What values does this provision support?

What problems, if any, does this proposition address in our current electoral system? 

 

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