Its not as if individuals, corporations or unions can contribute much as it is right now. Sure there is probably some opportunities for abuse but the days of unions or banks donating 100k to a party or parties are no longer here. Under the current rules only individuals can contribute not corporations/unions.
The current federal contribution limit is $1,100 per party at each of the local and national levels. In other words, a single public-minded individual can contribute, for example, $550 to each of two local Liberal candidates and another $1,100 to the Liberal party nationally, and then do the same with respect to the Conservative Party and the NDP, parting with $6,600 across the three parties. In contrast, at least in Ontario, the limits are much higher. A donor in Ontario can give to each party up to $9,300 any time in 2011; up to $1,240 to any single local riding association, provided that the total given to local riding associations of a single party does not exceed $6,200. Then, during the election campaign (in the fall), this generous soul can give a party another $9,300 and give its candidates up to $1,240 each, up to a maximum of $6,200. That totals $31,000 in 2011.
Obviously not that many "middle class" voters are going to part with $1,100 so it is still a system that favours the money interests. If nothing else, the current scheme is still miles ahead of what the US uses so one would hope its a little more transparent. I'm too lazy to find the stats but I remember reading that the Canadian parties spend something like $25M combined on an election, whereas Hillary Clinton spend $36M on her 2006 senate reelection campaign according to wikipedia.
The other aspect is third party advertising which can't be prohibiting because of free speech but is restriction in terms of amounts and disclosure requirements. Any third party who spends over $500 must register with elections canada and the amount they can spend is limited to $3,765 in any single riding up to a nationwide total of $188,250. Not really sure how this works for a TV ad.
I like the current $1.75 per vote (or whatever the current amount is) public funding scheme but sadly it looks like that will no longer be available for much longer. It will be interesting to see if the other parties are able to convince their supporters to give anywhere close to as generously as the conservatives have been able to do.
I completely agree with electronic voting. If I can file my taxes and complete the census online I can't see why I can't vote. The hardest part would probably be the appropriate transition measures as some people (ie older folks who actually vote) would probably still favour going to a polling station. I suppose you could just install some computers in the station rather then having the paper ballot. Another issue here could be what to do about the time off employers are currently supposed to give employees to vote on election day. If you could vote online in your office there you don't really need 3 hours to go to a polling station. How this would work when there are still some polling stations I'm not sure.