New Ideas

Fair Funding of Politics

 

My draft policy proposal: 

Whereas each citizen has the right to influence politics equally with other citizens, and  whereas money can and has been used to buy political corrupt favours,  some of which have led to catastrophic consequences over time, and whereas the wealth of an individual should not be a factor in determining how much a citizen can influence politics, and  whereas the current system of political donations returns up to 75% of the donation to the donor mostly from taxpayers that oppose the donors political preference.

be it resolved the GPC policy will favour an end to individual donations, and be  it resolved that the Green Party of Canada favors a system that allows  each citizen to fund the same fixed amount of money to their preferred  political party annually, paid by a Canadian government coffers,

And be it resolved that each voter in a federal election may assign a fixed subsidy to their preferred candidate.

This  funding may be registered by the citizens income tax form or other  secure and transparent means and forwarded at the first business day of  the year.

Background:
The charter of rights states each citizen has an equal benefit under law.
I propose the  right to influence politics through funding is such a legal benefit,  therefore we must insure equal political influence for each citizen. 

Canadian elections  offered citizens a per vote annual subsidy to each political party. Resolving this motion allows the subsidy to be more flexible because it  is not tied to the vote. Empowering this motion means a citizen's  funding is not locked into a party for four years and may be changed by  the citizen annually. This offers a way to punish parties that break  promises and reward those that perform well. Some may argue that the  benefit under law is already equal as everyone has the equal right to  donate - that it should be "equal right to donate" not "equal influence"  that the charter guarantees. That narrower interpretation only enables  the rich and powerful elite to entrench society's inequalities. Sock puppet individual donors for corporations behind the scenes can remain a problem. This by  extracting up to an added 300% of their next cost political donation from tax payers.  Given that tax payers mostly voted against the party getting the  donation, the  current system represents a form of systemic theft that can be  eliminated with a uniform standard. No part of this motion is intended  to suggest greens should not use the current system until the playing  field is leveled for all parties."

Thank you.
Constantine Kritsonis 



Observations:

The problem is that the political donation system is  easily corruptible. It favours the wealthy and allows them to push  politics in the direction they want - at the expense of the public.

We had a $2 per vote per year subsidy given to political parties.  


Harper destroyed that. He wanted to save $25 million dollars a year he said, but really he just wanted to cripple his political opponents. He said the two bucks a year was a rip off for the tax payer. 


But he kept in place the second part of the political funding system where THOUSANDS of dollars per year are  taken by the individual donor from the tax payer and given to parties. For up to 400 dollars  donated,  75% of donations are paid by the tax payer and the donor gets the 75% back off tax federal payable. Then it is a sliding scale downward for higher donations. A person can give to EDA's, candidates campaigns, the central party itself and leadership races. 


So a person with disposable income, can give to  all of those - and makes the tax payer give him or her back thousands of dollars a year. This  all while Harper axes the two bucks a year to save money . He just axed the part of the political funding system that helped parties like the greens and kept the part that helps conservatives. Then  Trudeau continues Harper's scheme.


This is a hypocrisy that boggles the mind. The conservatives and liberals  grabbing millions of dollars a year from tax payers that mostly voted against them. The wealthier the donor, the more they can grab from the tax payer. The solution:  Political funding to be exclusively a per citizen subsidy through a check box on annual tax returns. 


As it stands, some voters ares compelled to vote for a party they hate less than the other top contender for an MP seat.


That  because their first choice has a statistically near zero chance win the riding election which leads to this idea early in the early works: Attach the citizen's political subsidy right only to citizens who vote. Thus citizens would be given the incentive to vote, because even if their party does not win the local  race, then at least they are adding their money per per vote to help their political preference.


With a per citizen political subsidy, now money flows to the party people really support instead of it's opponents.


I warrant that under the charter of rights, every citizen has equal benefit under the law. If such benefit was deemed by a progressive court to include  financially influencing politics, then the power of the big money elites over citizens would be reduced. If funds become available I will challenge the current system of donations in court.


This would end the leveraged free money rebates from the tax payer to wealthy people that can buy and sell political power.

image45
image46

The Green Marshall Plan

 

Victor Anderson, Green/EFA, EU Parliament report on Green QE, June 2015.


See:  The Green Marshall Plan (Facebook group)


Also see:  Green quantitative easing: Paying for the economy we need (PDF document)


In 2008, literally TRILLIONS of dollars in various currencies were  created by central banks to bail out "banksters", failed corporations,  even lawbreakers who were never punished (except in Iceland) because  they are too big to fail.


If those who cause ecological destruction and loss of natural capital  value for us all can be bailed out with large scale new money creation,  then certainly central banks can help "bail out" the species, climate  & biosphere they have done so much to compromise.


It is our planet that is too big to fail.


The Marshall Plan rebuilt Europe after WWII with the equivalent of  hundreds of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure spending,  including newly created money.  Today, we need a Green Marshall Plan  for our planet. Whereas:


A) The right to create money belongs to the  citizens, but has been "contracted out" to irresponsible entities that  have participated in creating a vast ecological debt.


B) Money creation that helped caused the ecological debt must be used  to help repay that debt. If not, then we have a moral hazard of money  creation leaving a negative ecological footprint without thought to  retribution for all species. If the money creation rights are more  flexible and can be exploited to reverse ecological damage and restrict  expansion of emissions, then we have a moral duty to use them for that  immediately because we are at the tipping point of a runaway greenhouse  effect.


C) According to academics including professor Mark Z. Jacobson, the  technologies exist to cost competitively replace fossil fuels now, in  2016.


See:  TED Speaker Mark Z. Jacobson (page on TED)


Thus the moral obligation implement these proposed  solutions immediately on a large scale. Green infrastructure paid by new  money prevents resistance from those otherwise forced to pay for it.


D) With green infrastructure projects come new jobs, a larger tax  base, savings from efficiency that will be put to use expanding the  economy instead of expanding extraction of fossil fuels. In combination,  these will grow the economy, increase the well being of citizens.


E) As a cause of inflation, efficiency-focused or "green" money  creation is debatable. No claim that money creation in and of itself  guarantees inflation is credible. Countries engaged in large scale  quantitative easing (QE) have not experienced problem inflation. Nor  have countries like South Korea that focused its 2008-9 stimulus on  energy efficiency measures.


F) Better energy efficiency, reduced fuel use and reduced pollution  abatement must reduce long term costs. That "reduces" inflation, as  inflation is measured against a basket of actually used goods. If we  require less fuel, and get more for less, then actual value received for  money is increased.


G) Created money creating genuine progress across  whole societies reduces expenditures otherwise required for the same  amount of genuine progress. Resulting cost reduction is a solid counter  to a generic inflation argument against genuine progress money creation.


H) Ratified Green Party of Canada policy exists that Greens advocate  the BoC return to a prominent role in creating money. That means, among  other measures, creating additional money.


I) The risk-reward ratio  of reducing carbon vs inflation risk is in favour of reducing carbon.  The ecological or natural capital of the biosphere, or indeed any  ecosystem within it, is the root of all wealth.


J) Green MPs in England have asked the Bank of England to consider  green QE. Mark Carney, the Bank's governor has stated a scenario where  that may happen. Greens in at least Canada, the UK, Australia, New  Zealand, the USA, France, Germany, Italy, other EU nations are urging  similar measures. G7 and G20 and BRICS countries are also updating their  policies to respond to V-20 and COP21 concerns. Canadian Greens should  be among this chorus.


Therefore:  Green MPs and the GPC will advocate for BoC money creation  to offer interest free (or sovereign interest level) loans and grants  for green infrastructure and efficiency projects that also increase  resilience. Such projects may include the creation of for profit crown  corporations that build own and operate infrastructure and efficiency  projects. Green MP's and the GPC will advocate The Bank of International  Settlements support all central banks under it's structure engage in  sovereign coordinated Green Marshall Plans. A royal commission will be  established to determine the feasibility of creating such crown  corporations in given fields of expertise and offer a plan for a  virtually carbon free Canada. The royal commission would create specific  objectives and operating procedures the green crown corporations.  Grants to crown corporations will take preference over any grants to  private interests. One example of a green project, which could be owned  by a crown corporation: fast electric vehicle charging stations based on  stored renewable energy as an incentive to shift to EVs.