The Influence of Money in Canadian Politics

The 2015 Spur Festival in Toronto brought to life important conversations that many Canadians had not yet pondered. Whether it was regarding the precariousness of young workers in today’s economy, the future of wearable technology, or the role of money in elections, Spur offered great discussion on all topics. However, as we Canadians move into election season, I found the topic of money affecting politics to be both extremely relevant and extremely worrisome. We have recently seen in the news scandals of large “political action committees” used by Canadian political parties to influence party power. In fact, the renowned economist Robert Reich has also warned that the influence of money in Canadian politics is rapidly moving towards that of the United States.

During the Spur conversation with Daniel Schulman and Anna Porter, participants saw just how significant election funding could amount to in the United States. The panellists left off by providing a cautious conclusion regarding the importance of keeping funding restrictions alive and respected in Canada.

As the Canadian federal elections approach and news of unethical election funding technique continues to make headlines, the Spur event reminds Canadians to be cognizant of this influence and to rise as concerned citizens if Canadian political ethics advances towards its nadir.

Nikhil is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, studying International Relations and Economics. He is interested in climate change, development economics, and global security. He has been able to explore these interests academically through his work as a lead analyst for the G20 Research Group and a research analyst for the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Nikhil is also passionate about Canadian politics and culture and is excited to be a part of this national dialogue on politics, art, and ideas.

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