COLUMN: End this boondoggle completely

At the citizenship ceremony I attended a week or so ago, much of the discussion and the Pledge of Allegiance was given in French, along with English. Reasonable enough, since our country has two official languages, though the purpose of its use was described as appropriate because England and France were our two founding nations.

At the citizenship ceremony I attended a week or so ago, much of the discussion and the Pledge of Allegiance was given in French, along with English. Reasonable enough, since our country has two official languages, though the purpose of its use was described as appropriate because England and France were our two founding nations.

In fact, the reason French was imposed on all of us was as an appeasement to Quebecers, to provide a feeling of inclusiveness with the rest of Canada. And possibly for a very brief period those living within La Belle Province did feel a kinship with the rest of the nation. The adoption of French did not, however, put to rest calls of separatism, and today, the main representation of Quebec in the House of Commons is by a party whose main purpose is to tear this country apart . . . and each and every one of us is paying to support that notion.

Now I don’t have a problem with people learning or speaking French, or any other language. In fact, the more you can speak and understand, the better off you are. Considering British Columbia’s incredible ethnic mix, most of us should become fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi and Tagalog.

And if you look at the way the party leaders are trying to woo the ethnic vote during the current election campaign, it may not be too long before concessions based on political support are made to expand our national languages act. As happened in Quebec, anything to generate political support, though we have since seen that didn’t quite work. So our government of the day some 10 years ago came up with another scheme – a taxpayer subsidy that provides each federal party with ongoing financial support.

For the Bloc, the party whose aim is separation, that funding keeps them alive and well – and maintains their goal of destruction. And we fund them in a big way. For every dollar they raise through donations from supporters, those of us who are staunch backers of our nationhood must contribute almost $5. If you rely on the Bloc’s accounting, the amount still remains at $3.86 from the general taxpayer for every $1 they raise themselves.

Does it makes sense that we are forced to contribute to a political party that is bent on destroying the country? For that matter should taxpayers be contributing, to the tune of $370 million in the past decade, to any political entity, regardless of stripe or purpose?

If you support a party or politician, by all means help them financially as much as you wish to. However, that should be a personal decision, should not be aided or coerced by generous tax deductions, and certainly must not be done by governments and parties to help themselves to, at our expense, maintain their profile.

And if you wonder where that above-mentioned $370 million went, the federal Liberals received $122 million, the Conservatives $119 million, the NDP $70 million, the Bloc $37 million and even the Greens, who have never elected a candidate, $11.5 million.

No wonder we are deluged year in and year out with political advertising, and no wonder parties like the Bloc and Greens keep rolling along.

The federal Liberal government instituted this program in 2000; the federal Conservatives have promised to eliminate part of it. Why not eliminate all of it?

If you can’t afford to run for office, don’t. If a party can’t survive without taxpayer support, disband.

I would suggest that without subsidies, the Bloc would fade away and along with it separatism. Joining them would be the Greens, and the Rhinos and all other fringe groups who, by fielding candidates, end up benefiting, and supporting their “politics,” from the largesse of largely unwitting, and likely unwilling, taxpayers.

And on Monday, Canadians across this nation have the opportunity to cast a ballot, and at the same time, willing or not, perpetuate a political boondoggle of epic proportion.

 

markrushton@abbynews.com