Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Labour scared of money they can't steal

It has been interesting to see the Labour party continue to try and smear other opposition parties on the basis of their funding. They have always tried to complain about how they need state funding of things like election advertising to stop the likes of National beating them purely through their "deeper pockets". We will ignore (for the moment) the hypocrisy of these statements with reference to Labour's Union backers, but instead now see Labour's reaction as they are challenged by a smaller party than themselves that is recognized as not having those deep pockets - the Libertarianz.

"I'd be very surprised to learn that the Libertarianz have the financial means to pay Mr Molloy's fees. This raises significant questions about who is actually backing this case and what their motives are."

And instead of helping to support those other parties that are in even more need of political funding than themselves - yes the Libertarianz cannot help themselves to $800,000 of the public purse like Labour - they belittle the fact that they have managed to find funding themselves for their worthy cause.

You see Labour's argument about their taking funds from the public purse to battle the deep pockets of National has one major flaw. Labour has the breadth of backers to combat National in purse - it is the smaller parties of the Greens, Progressives, Libertarianz et al. that should actually be the main recipients of the public election money under Labour's arguments. Look at all their arguments about state funding of electioneering and try to follow them logically as to whether that means the largest parties should receive any funding? By their own arguments neither Labour nor National should receive public assistance, or every party regardless of size should receive the same funding.

The latter case would certainly be interesting in terms of an actual level playing field where all parties had the same allocation and could only spend that allocation and nothing more. Might actually force an election to be fought on policies with the smaller parties having a real chance to get their policies across.

But that would require some actual decorum and integrity within our political process, and so is likely to remain a pipe dream. What would your ideal election funding source and spending restriction model be? And what concessions would you make to make that feasible?
Tags: , , , , , ,

No comments: