Tuesday, July 11, 2006

That's a Hellyer of a Loan

A couple of posts ago I noted the problem of “loans” to political parties and candidates.

Under our campaign finance laws a lender to a politician can “write off” any loan if he determines the loan is “truly uncollectible”.

This clearly raises the possibility of a contributor getting around the $5,400 limit on donations.

Take, for instance, the Canadian Action Party.

Back in 1997, Paul Hellyer, loaned the Canadian Action Party (which he founded) $750,000.

Well, a few days ago he told his accountants to write it off. Hellyer calls it a “bad loan.”

Critics are calling it a loophole. After all, that $750,000 loan now looks an awful lot like a contribution.

But you know what? The poor folks at the Canadian Action Party need this loophole to survive. A small party, lacks a large grassroots following and needs a small number of wealthy donors to keep it going.

Campaign contribution limits only serve to help the larger parties and most especially the incumbent party.

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