See what you’re paying for: support fair debates

Political parties that earn more than two percent of the vote – Liberals, NDP, Conservatives and Greens – receive a per vote subsidy, courtesy of the Ontario tax payer.

This is a good thing.

It’s also why taxpayers should be able to hear from the leaders of these parties in televised/streamed debates.

The subsidy was one of many measures introduced under Ontario’s new electoral finance laws. This legislation borrowed extensively from the Green Party of Ontario’s policy book and GPO leader Mike Schreiner was consulted more than any other person on the reforms.

The legislation mimicked the Greens’ long time platform and banned big money from provincial politics. No longer can unions and corporations donate to campaigns. (Greens accomplished this in British Columbia as well, where three elected Greens hold the balance of power). The hope is that parties will be less inclined to cater to special interest groups who bankroll them to the ballot box: you don’t usually bite the hand that feeds you.

As a three-time Green candidate however, I have never accepted union or corporate donations. I have only received donations from grassroot supporters like you.

Your support is particularly important because in addition to donating directly to my campaign, if you vote Green we could receive up to $10 per vote. That’s the subsidy. And it is democratic. It curbs the influence of those who attract big donors and it bases financing on the most obvious indicator of a party’s support: the number of votes it receives. Again, what you vote for is what you support.

So shouldn’t you be able to hear from the parties the province funds with your money? I certainly think so. So do thousands of Ontario voters.

If you’re one of them please add your name to this petition saying exactly that: Don’t let a private media consortium or partisan power plays get in the way of hearing from the four parties funded by the province.

See what you’re paying for: support fair debates.