Federal subsidy contributed to Bloc Quebecois demise

Blog, Politics, Marco Navarro-Genie

Some used to complain that the federal subsidies to political parties (initiated under the Chretien regime) were artificially supporting the Bloc Quebecois.

By granting parties revenue from the public purse, the federal state kept the Bloc alive beyond its natural life, the argument went. In a well-received Frontier Centre backgrounder in October 2008 Mark Milke made the case in the language of unintended consequences:

Whether one supports of opposes the use of tax dollars to fund political parties, an unintended consequence of public financing for political parties is that the Bloc Quebecois’ finances were greatly helped out by such schemes.

I remain convinced that Milke was right then, but there is room to believe that unintended consequences have in turn further unintended consequences.

[caption id="attachment_1640" align="aligncenter" width="275" caption="Once a happier Duceppe"][/caption]

This is the view that Eric Duhaime advances in this piece entitled “Fermez la shop,” suggesting that the BQ is done.  Duhaime argues that Bloc dependency on federal funding created the conditions of complaisance in which the party lived of lately.   Only 19% of the Bloc’s finances came from funds raised from party members and militants.  The rest, 81% came from the feds.

Canada ‘A Frightened Country’

Media Appearances, Politics, Frontier Centre

Gairdner’s worry about persistent deficit spending, smothering socialism, the Charter of Rights (which granted additional rights without giving Canadians balancing responsibilities) and loss of traditions led (after five rejection letters) to The Trouble With Canada -plus a string of other books and a reputation as the guy who helped jumpstart a pendulum swing toward conservative values.