Re: "First-past-the-post system perverts will of majority, says letter-writer," (The Hill Times, letter-the-editor, May 30, p. 8). Gary Dale argues in a backwards and unjustifiably derogatory way in favour of keeping the per-vote annual subsidy at $2 per-vote. What is "properly financed" according to Mr. Dale? How much does a federal political party need to operate annually? In fact, no one knows, and in fact the Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP and other federal parties have all operated for decades at different levels of financing each year, thereby proving that there is no set amount needed to be a properly financed federal political party. What we do know for sure is that the per-vote subsidy was set at $1.75 annually initially in 2004, and has increased by 14 per cent (at the inflation rate) to $2. The $1.75 amount was chosen by then-Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien to ensure the Liberals would continue to receive the same amount of money annually as the Liberals received in undemocratic corporate donations in 2003. So, we know for sure that the $1.75 now $2 amount is higher than it democratically should be because it was based on undemocratic corporate, instead of democratic individual, donations. Mr. Dale claims that Democracy Watch's proposal to lower the per-vote subsidy to $1 means that Democracy Watch "prefers that citizens get their information about candidates and parties second hand" because without the $2 per-vote (or even higher) annual subsidy he believes the parties will not have the resources needed to contact voters and "reasonably present their platforms without requiring the support of corporate media." This may have been somewhat true before the creation of mass email and websites 15 years ago, and mass social media and multiple media websites five years ago, but it is clearly not true now. As well, Mr. Dale ignores the fact that federal political parties are given free TV and radio broadcast time on every station in Canada during every election campaign period. All of the above shows clearly that Mr. Dale has no basis in fact or principle for calling Democracy Watch's proposal "profoundly undemocratic." Mr. Dale also ignores the fact that I proposed reforming the voting system as the best way to end the huge, undemocratic subsidy enjoyed by any party that receives a higher percentage of MPs than votes (the Conservatives will receive $10.5-million annually until the next election because they have 24 more MPs than they deserve). But until the voting system is reformed, cutting the per-vote subsidy to zero for all parties that receive more MPs than they deserve, to $1 per-vote annually for parties that receive fewer MPs than they deserve, and to 50 cents per-vote for parties that only operate in one part of the country, like the Bloc, are clearly the most principled, democratic changes that could be made. So again, what will it be Prime Minister Harper, more democracy for Canada by making these changes, or less democracy by making your planned change of cutting the per-vote subsidy to zero for all federal parties? Duff Conacher Board member Democracy Watch Ottawa, Ont.