Monday, May 9, 2011

Signs of the Times - End to an indirect farm subsidy

One of the first things that Prime Minister Harper will probably implement in his new government is an end to the approximately $2 per vote subsidy.  This subsidy is intended to give a more equal footing to all political parties.  It enables a budget for election campaign materials and expenses regardless of how poor or rich the party is.  It allows for the purchase of materials such as signs, which are often collected and saved in anticipation of another election.    Some have been eagerly re-purposed after the election for another use entirely. A popular use for the wire-framed plastic bag signs is as a frame for floating remay covers. A clever use for the vote subsidy, amounting to an indirect farm subsidy for some.  Sometimes the user asks permission - sometimes they are eagerly collected before the weary election team has time to get them. And don't even think about taking them before election day or you may be subject to a hefty $1,000 fine or 3 months in jail, or both.  In any case, once the party coffers are depleted when the subsidy is no more, no doubt greater efforts will be made to discourage pilfering of the signs so that they can be used again in the next election

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