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The money party

July 6, 2020 July 2020 No Comments

The money scramble – the allocation of funds for advertising in the coming election has been held. The big winners, Labour and National, will each get one and a quarter million dollars.

The Green Party and NZ First will each get $310,000. Next up, Act, The Maori Party and The Opportunities Party each get $145.

Then come ‘the others’  most of which many people will  have never heard of: Advance NZ,  The Aotiaroa Cannabis Party,  Democratic Social Credit,  NZ Outdoors,  Sustainable NZ,  Vision NZ,  Direct Democracy,  Furure Party,  Interest Party,  One Party  and finally Oytcho-visha who 

describe themselves as “a cult for those who understand, appreciate and observe the avant-garde, gothic triumphs of European culture”.                                                

The formula for determining how money gets allocated might seem strange, given that it goes to parties that arguably have the most chance of securing donations. However, according to the Electoral Commission, “the allocation of money is not a simple mathematical calculation and involves a difficult balancing exercise. 

It requires the commission to take into account each and all of the criteria, some of which are quantifiable, some of which are qualitative, some of which are based on past performance, and some of which are based on more recent indicators.” 

In the announcement of funding, there was a discussion of how the weighting worked for smaller parties. On the one hand, the Electoral Commission is required to give parties fair opportunity to convey their policies to the public, and even under an MMP system, smaller parties have far less opportunity to do this than major parties.

This means that some party allocations “may arguably be larger than a strict reflection of what their election results and other indications of public support”.

Electoral law expert professor Andrew Geddis adds: “As well as parties having to be registered by August 12 (which requires them getting 500 paying members who all are enrolled to vote), they also have to actually submit a list of candidates in order to get access to this money. 

Also submitting the party list requires a deposit of $1000, which the micro parties will never see again. If a party doesn’t register/submit a list of candidates, its allocation gets redistributed to the other parties. So those micro-parties at the bottom probably won’t get anything at all. Also note that the money is not paid out to the parties directly – the Electoral Commission pays bills upon delivery of receipts.”

 

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