Sunday, December 11, 2005

Vote Getting

Buy My Vote

Last week a Sherbrooke man put his vote up for sale on eBay. The man reasoned that if the Liberals could try to buy votes in Quebec then why couldn't he sell his? He had a bid of over $7.00 before Elections Canada got wind of it and asked eBay to withdraw the auction. It's illegal to buy and sell votes in Canada. Actually, I think you can only rent them.

Your Vote Counts

Think you've never made a contribution to a political party? Think again. A few years ago Canada implemented a system whereby political parties get $1.75/year for every vote they receive provided that they exceed 2% of the cast ballots. Assuming an election is held every 4 years your vote is worth $7.00. More like $3.50 given the recent fondness we've developed for minority governments.

To give you an idea of what that means, here are the amounts the parties received last year:

  • Bloc Quebecois $3.1 Million
  • Conservatives $7.3 Million
  • Green Party $1.1 Million
  • Liberals $9.1 Million
  • NDP $3.9 Million

For the Green Party it was a windfall. With just 4.3% of the vote they were finally able to get some serious funding to run an election campaign.

Money Making Opportunity

That brings us to this idea. Why not start your own political party? Let's look at the numbers. Total votes cast in the last election was 13,564,702. Two percent of that is about 275,000. At $1.75 per vote your party could get $475,000 annually. Even taking out expenses, it is still a decent chunk of change to play with.

How do you get these votes? Start with a popular, although not necessarily practical, platform. Cherry pick the key hot button issues then pander, pander, pander. Unethical you say? Everyone else is doing it? The kicker is that you won't actually be forming a government so you can promise anything you want.

There are 308 ridings in Canada. Running a candidate in less than half of them and getting just 2000 votes in each riding will comfortably put you over 2%.

Think about it. Voters want change. The way things are going, elections may be held every two years in Canada. Sounds like a growth industry.

For the Less Ambitious

If all this sounds too ambitious why not run as an Independent? It costs $1000 to register and Elections Canada reimburses your fee and half your expenses providing you make a serious go of it.

"Why bother?" you ask. An elected MPs salary is $144,000 per year.

Let's all practice. "If elected I promise to ...."

Election Tracker


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