...in the spate of blogs and columns denouncing the practice of using taxpayer dollars to finance political parties:
Could it be the Conservatives, who have long opposed public subsidies, are spinning their friends in the media? And if that's the case does it mean the Tories are seeking to win over public opinion because they plan to address this controversial issue in their next budget?
And that leads to further questions. After all, the last time the Conservatives targeted these subsidies it nearly triggered a constitutional crisis, not to mention an unholy alliance between the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc.
Could it be Prime Minister Stephen Harper is hoping the subsidy issue will force an election this spring?
More likely the first option rather than the 2nd. For two reasons. First, while I can see this issue working for the CPoC, it isn't top of mind for anyone I know. I can't see how they could make it a cornerstone of any federal election campaign. Second, since any election promise would involve introducing legislation post-election anyhow, I don't see why the LPoC couldn't at least indicate a willingeness to consider such legislation (with suitable caveats). In other words, the issue would not be sufficient to differentiate the CPoC from the LPoC during a campaign.
And if cutting the voter subsidy does turn out to be a proposal in the upcoming budget, then the LPoC should signal a tentative willingness to deal. The party might do better anyway if they could rely on a smaller pool of well-heeled donors. Certainly they have yet to really master the current fundraising system.