Friday, June 02, 2006

Volpe Shows Folly of Contribution Limits

The Joe Volpe donation fiasco shows why limits on political campaign contributions are a bad idea.

For one thing they make our politicians act like idiots.

Take Volpe, for example.

He actually wants us to believe that two 11 year olds and a 14 year old each contributed $5,400 to his leadership campaign.

“Apparently,” Volpe told the media with a straight face, “I had seen the kids when I went to their school and gave a talk during the (federal election) campaign. They went back home and said `that’s a guy we want to help, we want to support.’ The parents told them there would be a good time to do that and here is the time.”

And he got back up from Steve MacKinnon, the national Liberal Party director, who also with a straight face declared, “Affluent families often have children who possess that kind of resource” to contribute to political parties.

Sorry guys that doesn’t even pass the giggle test. Do they really think anybody is going to believe that dopey story?

Apparently not because now they are returning some of the donations.

Of course, everybody knows what happened in this case.

Some rich guy is using a legal loophole to get around individual campaign contribution limits ie his wife and kids are making contributions.

And in a way you can’t really blame Volpe for taking the money.

After all, running a leadership campaign takes money – lots of money. But unfortunately, political contribution limits will make it more difficult to raise that money – much more difficult.

Something has got to give.

Right now, politicians and their backers are making use of loopholes but when they get plugged they might resort to less legal means.

And that’s the problem with campaign contribution limits. Rather than making government more honest, they make our political system more corrupt.

Check an article I wrote on this which appeared in the Globe and Mail web site a few weeks ago.

Media Update -- Will be discussing this issue on Charles Adler online at 2:15 PM Eastern time.

7 comments:

Liberal Fortunes said...

Or is it just the Liberal franchise hasn't adapted to the new system.

Anonymous said...

Or is it a clear sign that big business buys the Liberals? Clearly the Conservatives have it all over the Liberals re: grassroot contribution, which, in then end tells me that it is indeed the Conservatives who are more in touch with the pulse of Canadians on the ground.

Miles Lunn said...

I agree in getting rid of contribution limits or at least raising them considerably. I think the Liberals only passed them since Chretien wanted to screw Martin over. If he thought they were such a great idea, why didn't he do it until just months before retiring.

I also should note that Harper's accountability act is even worse. I would like to see you speak out against Harper's accountability act, which may even be unconstitutional.

Miles Lunn said...

Anonymous - I disagree Conservatives are more in touch with the pulse of Canadians. Much of their support comes from individuals with very right wing views who cannot win at the ballot box so they are willing to donate more money and become more active in order to influence the political process. The religious right and gun lobby are not representative of mainstream Canadians.

Anonymous said...

Spoken as a true Liberal Miles. Quite a leap from grassroot conservatives with a better record of raising money from individual Canadians rather than screwing continuing on the Liberal merry way of corruption. I do understand how the true does hurt though. You're excused considering the Liberal fortunes are bound to decline furture given Volpe's trick.

Miles Lunn said...

Spoken as a true Liberal Miles. Quite a leap from grassroot conservatives with a better record of raising money from individual Canadians rather than screwing continuing on the Liberal merry way of corruption. I do understand how the true does hurt though. You're excused considering the Liberal fortunes are bound to decline furture given Volpe's trick.

Actually most polls have shown Canadians don't have much of an appetite for neo-conservatism. The Conservatives won for two reasons
1. People felt it was time for a change
2. They did a good job of hiding just how extreme they really were. As more and more people see just how right wing the party is more and more will return to the Liberals.

Besides Joe Volpe has zero chance at becoming leader.

Anonymous said...

Your radical examples are more of the same spin the Liberals tried to use(and failed) last federal election to scare folks off of Harper. Nice try.

Oh, and we all know how "right" the polls and pundits were, don't we?