Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right. The way the legislation currently reads, a person can donate $10,000 per year per party, plus an additional $10,000 in any one year to a leadership contestant of any political party and a further contribution of $10,000 to the election campaigns of independent candidates.
In addition, there is no age restriction on the $10,000. Right now the father of a wealthy family could belly up to the bar and donate $50,000. If that father were to have three or four dependents who could be four, five or six years old--it does not matter because it is per person as long as that person has a social insurance number--they could donate. A family could lever its influence to the $40,000 or $50,000 mark.
I would support amendments except to say that it would be interesting to see what the final package looks like. I have suggested that we could do without. We could lower the amount of money given by corporations, ensure it is only individuals, and allow it to be given to one party or to one candidate, for example, in one riding. On the other hand, we will be interested to see where the final number ends up for taxpayer support.
I do not support the bill because of that huge taxpayer obligation. I would rather that individuals be allowed to support political parties. I would like to have it transparent and open, and have political parties justify the money they would spend rather than have taxpayers on the hook. It is likely I could support it, but it is also in light of the fact that I also want to see the part taken out that would obligate taxpayers to be on the hook for $30 million or $40 million a year.