The Pros And Cons Of Political Party Donations

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With the recent controversy surrounding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s supposed cash-for-access fundraiser for the Liberal Party, the topic of how political parties raise money was placed in the national spotlight. Many believe that all private donations to political parties should be stopped, so as to remove any influence over parties. Others believe that all restrictions on private donations should be lifted and all private funding be halted. Due to these drastically different ideas, there is likely a balance in the middle that is ideal for maintaining the integrity of our democracy. In order to achieve this balance, the restrictions on political party donations should be reformed at both a federal and provincial level. This paper will first examine the current federal and…show more content…
Complete deregulation has some pretty obvious flaws in the influence those who donate have over the parties. The Saskatchewan premier, for example, received donations from the country’s largest oil companies and the corporation responsible for a pipeline spill in Northern Saskatchewan, prompting many to wonder if his ‘lukewarm’ response to the spill and staunch opposition to carbon pricing are due to the corporations funding him (Smith & Meili, 2016). Another example of this is in Australia when restrictions on poker machines were discussed in Parliament during Labour’s last term in office. At the time gambling industry lobbyists were donating somewhat equally to both the Labour and Liberal parties. However, after Labour began to seriously discuss reform, donations began shifting dramatically in favour of the Liberals and the Liberal leader came out strongly against reform. The reforms were eventually dropped even though 70-75% of Australian were in favour of them (Smith, 2014). This suggests that complete deregulation of donations will result in policies that reflect what corporations want, not what individual voters

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