The political parties don't deserve a penny

British politicians could do worse than take a leaf out of the Canadian Government's book this week, who are apparently going to abolish taxpayer-funded subsidies for political parties (Hat-tip to ConHome).

There are few things less edifying than the sight of political parties which have failed to inspire the public to donate to them forcing taxpayers to support them financially instead. If the need for them to appeal to the public for financial support was removed, yet another line of accountability would be cut and we would have taken yet another step along the road of power lying in the hands of politicians and not the people.

The Obama campaign's remarkable levels of small donations shows that it is possible to raise money from ordinary people on a massive scale to fund a successful election campaign. This graph from the BBC News Website (with Blue for Obama, Red for McCain) says it all:

It is impossible for any politician to stand up and argue against the case that they have a divine right to exist and that taxpayers must pick up the bill. The bottom line is that the only reason they are demanding subsidies is that their business model, products and service quality have failed pretty miserably. Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems have no more right to survive, preserved forever at the expense of the people they have failed to inspire, than Woolworths or MFI.

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