You know when you have an argument with someone, and then the next day you think of the perfect rebuttal to some point they made but it's too late? This is one of those.
I have a very smart conservative friend in the choir I sing with. After rehearsal when we all go down to the pub for a pint, the two of us frequently engage in some... spirited political discussions. It's a lot of fun, actually. Kind of like discussing politics with my father, only without the yelling and the random, oblique criticisms of my life choices.
The past couple of pub debates have been devoted to the coalition and the political crisis. My friend isn't one of those who brands all coalition supporters as commies and traitors, but he is very concerned (and typically ill-informed) about the role of the BQ in all this.
He tied this concern into an argument against public funding of political parties, saying that he didn't like the idea of his tax dollars supporting a separatist party. I made the usual point that his $1.95 goes to the Conservatives and a Bloc voter's $1.95 goes to the Bloc, but he wasn't buying it.
Here's my better argument:
First, I would ask how much he donated to the Conservative Party last year. I'm betting it was the maximum. He's relatively well off, and he's a financial consultant so he'd know the tax benefits.
I would then point out that my political donations have (up until this week) equalled the ten bucks I paid for my Liberal membership. Not because I don't support them, but because I'm... not poor exactly, but certainly not awash in so much cash that I'm inclined to just give it away on a regular basis. And I think I'm pretty typical for people in the under $50,000 bracket.
Besides, I give of my time.
Now. My friend, who we can assume donated the maximum of $1,100 to the Conservatives, would have received half of that back in the form of a tax refund. And since I did not make anything close to the equivalent in donations to the Liberals, and wouldn't have benefited anyway because I usually don't make enough money to pay income tax...
This means that the taxes I do pay have, quite literally and disproportionately, helped to subsidize his donation to the Conservative Party of Canada. As opposed to the $1.95 in tax dollars attached to my vote, which quite proportionally supported my party of choice.