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Clark, Trudeau, and Trump keeping the pundits busy

Here’s been so much going on lately, it’s touch keeping up.

From the daily Trump show down south to Justin Trudeau to Christy Clark … where to begin, where to begin?

OK, let’s start closest to home.

I had lunch with a friend the other day and we got talking about the foofaraw over funding political parties. He, being a member in good standing of the B.C. Liberals, agreed that political donations were getting out of hand, but was loathe to entertain the idea of banning corporate and union donations.

However, he didn’t have an answer to my reason why we should ban political donations from corporations and unions, and other organizations for that matter. Maybe I’m a little too altruistic, or naïve, but it goes like this:

We live in a democracy. That democracy is founded on the principle of ‘one person, one vote.’ No one else gets to vote (however there is still a push on for businesses to get a vote, but that’s another story). When we go into the ballot box, we vote an individuals, not corporations, unions, or organizations. That’s the way it should be (in case there was any doubt, I don’t support the push for the business vote).

So given the fact that only individuals can cast ballots, it makes sense, at least to my addled brain, that only individuals can financially support political candidates and/or political parties.

It’s time to get rid of corporate and union donations to political parties and politicians. It makes things less … smarmy.

And there’s another aspect that no one seems to talk about. As much as large corporations donate large sums of money to political parties to curry favour with those in power, it benefits them financially … at the expense of the taxpayer.

There is a tax benefit for donating to a political party. So, which political parties benefit and corporations benefit, the taxpayer has to pick up the difference. That’s just not right.

Then there’s poor old Justin Trudeau. He’s creating some of his own messes, but he’s also finding out why his predecessor didn’t speak publicly too much. During a townhall meeting in Calgary, Trudeau was yelled at and heckled by a likely ‘good ol’ boy’ wearing a “I love the oilsands T-shirt.” The heckler was slamming Trudeau for his off the cuff remark that we, as a society, have to look at weaning ourselves off oil. That, of course, is even worse the pumping it out as fast as we can and sharing the wealth with the rest of country, like his old man suggested.

The hysterical tizzy in Alberta and Saskatchewan was almost unprecedented. They somehow forgot that Trudeau’s government approved Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and warmly greeting U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to re-start to Keystone XL pipeline.

Does that sound like a prime minister who’s anti-oil? Apparently in Alberta, where they don’t want to stop sucking oil out of the ground until every drop is gone and then whine to government that it has to bail out the unemployed oil patch workers, it does.

Down south a lot of the media pundits are puzzled by Trump’s assertion that as many has five million may have voted illegally in the election (all for Hillary Clinton, of course). Most are putting it off to Trump’s vanity, which seems to tower over all the Trump Towers.

Those pundits should look north because we’ve been down this road before. Stephen Harper’s Conservative government made a lot of the same, unfounded assertions about voter irregularity. It was used as an excuse to change voting regulations. Those new regulations, to no one’s surprise, made it more difficult for voters of certain demographics to vote. Oh, and by the way, those certain demographics, more often than not, voted for the other guys.

I think Trumps concern about voter irregularity has less to do with vanity and more to do with ensuring ongoing electoral success.

 

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