Sunday, June 12, 2011

Little Girls, Candy and Political Subsidies

When I was about eight years old, I belonged to a church group called 'Explorers'.
And before you ask - no, I never knew a Dora who was an Explorer.

One year the Explorers were fundraising for something, converting the heathens in Japan I think, judging by the number of missionaries who turned up in the church showing off  kimonos.
Anyway, the plan was that one Tuesday night the church would unleash thirty or forty chocolate bar selling little girls into the community .

The more 60 cent chocolate bars that we Explorers sold, the more souls in Japan would be saved.
My best friend Jane and I were pumped!
God's warriors!

I actually think we sold a few before we ate one.

The succumbing to temptation presented several problems because things were quite different in those days.  

First, although It was considered perfectly safe for a little girl to knock on a stranger's door it would have been very unusual for her to have any money in her pocket.
And we didn't have a penny between us.

Second was the moral problem - and I must tell you that what happened next haunts me to this very day. 

We had to sell twelve more chocolate bars, each for an extra nickel.
Oh, the guilt!

 I still expect that one day someone is going to tap me on the shoulder and say, "About that chocolate bar you sold me in 1957 ..."

I mention this so that you understand that I am not without fundraising experience and understand something of its perils and pain.

 And I believe that qualifies me to make a statement about the Federal Conservative Party phasing out  of the $2 per-vote subsidy.

Did you realize that every vote you cast in past elections sent $2.04 of your tax dollars to the political party of your choice? 

That subsidy funded much of our political system.

Now the parties will need to fund raise for everything. 
Fine for the powerful Conservative Party with their majority government that so few of us actually voted for, not so fine for everyone else.

My thought is that what goes around comes around and someday the voters will get tired of all of this mean spiritedness and the Tories will be gone.

By then the other parties will have learned to survive without the subsidy.

In the meantime be nice to that old lady in the Green Party t-shirt selling candy bars at your door.

It might be me.

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Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hey Francie, I was an Explorer too! About 1967-ish. They promised us that we'd do all sorts of fun activities but all we ever did was sit around the church basement, pray and talk about the Monkees and boys (ick). So I quit after the first year.

I quite like the $2 per vote subsidy. It helps to level the playing field among the parties. But apparently Harper is not just content to defeat the Liberals, he wants to destroy the party as well.

The Episcopagan said...

Ha ha! I guess Explorers changed a lot in the ten years between 57 & 67. We actually had fun but we never talked about boys 'cause they had cooties. Everybody knew that in those days.

Yes it does seem as if SH is out to crush the Liberals, doesn't it? The tide will turn though, sooner or later.