AUDIO – DESCRIPTION:
On January 18, 2017, Freedom Party leader Paul McKeever was a guest of The Tom McConnell Show (1290 AM CJBK, London, Ontario, and and CKTB-AM 610 St. Catharines, Ontario) and was interviewed about the passage of the new Ontario provincial Bill 2 (the Election Finances Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016). McKeever explained that all present MPPs from all three parties in the Ontario provincial Legislature – including Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown and NDP leader Andrea Horwath – voted unanimously in favour of giving their parties a taxpayer funded allowance that, over the next four years, will pay the Liberals, PCs, and NDP the lion’s share of over $47M.
McKeever explained that one false pretext for the allowance was that the elimination of corporate and union contributions, and the lowering of the individual contribution limit to $1,200.00, will result in a reduction in funding to the parties, and that the allowance is to make up for the short fall. That pretext is false, because – for the Liberals, PCs, and NDP – the amount of the allowance is far greater than the amounts they were able to earn from total voluntary contributions.
McKeever explained that another false pretext for the allowance is that the parties need enough money to pay for the election in a way that will make democracy sufficiently vibrant. That pretext is false, explained McKeever, because the limit on election spending is 80 cents per elector, but the amount of the allowance being paid the Liberals, PCs and NDP is several times the 80 cent limit: they are paying themselves far more than they would need to finance their entire election campaigns on taxpayer funds.
McKeever explained that the new legislation essentially puts a $10 price tag on each ballot. McKeever argued that Canadian soldiers have fought and died to maintain democracy in Canada, which includes not having to pay to vote. We’ve already paid for the ballots with the blood of Canadian soldiers and that of Canada’s allies.
McKeever explained that, by giving the Liberals, PCs, NDP and Greens an allowance (the Liberals, PCs, and NDP have excluded all other parties – the Greens excepted – from getting an allowance, yet all parties are having their contribution limits lowered anyway…which amounts to a 25% reduction in private, voluntary funding to Freedom Party, based upon 2014 figures), MPPs will have less need to be accountable to the general public. With the government paying them the money they need, MPPs can ignore the demands of their parties’ voluntary contributors.
McKeever condemned the allowance as anti-freedom, anti-democratic, and an attempt by the Liberals, PCs, and NDP to ally with one another to prevent competition from other, emerging political parties. He said that Freedom Party is opposed to funding political parties with taxpayer dollars and would work to end the taxpayer funding of all political parties.
Listen to the interview: