A humble suggestion to reform donations to political parties

Dear editor,

The last thing a wise man would do is try to compress political reform's many complexities into a few short paragraphs.

Dear editor,

Political reform is a precarious enterprise and the last thing a wise man would do is try to compress its many complexities into a few short paragraphs. We begin.

As they say in the newspaper trade, there is but one proven way to get to the heart of the matter, “follow the money trail.”

Currently, thousands of Canadians donate $400 to the political party of their choice. Early the following year they get a $300 refund.

This tax benefit adds millions to the federal deficit and ends up costing all of us more in debt service charges. Like it or not, we’re all donating to political parties whose predisposed agenda is not necessarily in our best interest.

A more democratic approach would be to have a space on all income tax forms where the more than 25 million who file returns yearly could indicate if they would like to donate $1 to $5 to a political party or independent running for office.

This would go a long way in making our democratic system of government more democratic.

Political parties would have to reach out to all Canadians, not just the ones that share their political point of view. They would also know on a yearly basis if the people who pay their wages believed they were keeping their campaign promises and not just implementing their hidden agenda.

All change should be approached with caution. It takes time for old ideas to die and new ones to take hold.

My goal in bringing this politically motivated tax dodge to the public’s attention is to generate discussion and suggest improvements to the proposal. I only ask they do so in a civil and reasonable manner.

Doug Poole,

Courtenay

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