Send me a cheque instead!
After scanning the papers this morning and reading all of the various articles opining about a possible autumn election, I have to confess to still being at a complete loss to appreciate the compelling need for one at this time — a feeling evidently shared by almost three quarters of the electorate, at least if recent polls are to be trusted. Unavoidably, my thoughts then turned to what yet another election will cost: $300 million or more by most estimates.
When mere millions are nonchalantly shrugged at these days, dwarfed in comparison to the billions and trillions of dollars routinely bandied about by governments or sloshing around in the troughs of global financial markets, $300 million may not seem like a great deal of money, but consider that this represents almost a $1,000 for every man, woman and child in Canada. In other words, if let’s say you happen to live a 3-person household, the forthcoming election will cost your family $3,000. This of course would tacked onto the same amount expended for the last completely needless exercise in democracy, bringing the grand total for our hypothetical family to $6,000 — in just one year! Now that’s a rather hefty bill for most “average” Canadians to exercise their franchise, I’d say.
Not to mention the fact that if you happen to live in a province that also held an election during the same time period, your costs would be even higher than this. And if we were being truly rigorous, then the costs would be born disproportionately by actual taxpaying citizens making the figure still more for those particular individuals.
For the sake of argument however, let’s stick to the rough calculation of $1,000 per head. Now, if you had a choice between having an election this autumn or receiving a cheque for $1,000 per person (tax-free, I might add), what would you rather have? I’ll take the cheque, thank you very much.
Math-Challenged Update: D’oh! Now you know why I went into the arts — I was always completely dreadful at math. Good grief, what was I thinking? I should really have double-checked that figure. I mean, it did seem awfully high. Well, we all make mistakes. Jim Flaherty, for example, is frequently off by BILLIONS of dollars in his reckless calculations…