State Funding

Via MakeMyVoteCount I see that in today's Telegraph Tory MEP, Daniel Hannan, writes on state funding of political parties. All I have to add is 'Bravo!'

Politicians are already seen as remote and arrogant. How much worse would that problem be if they were able to compel money from their constituents by law, instead of having to ask politely?

...state funding allows existing parties to form a cartel against newcomers. Or, to put it another way, it shields them from the consequences of their unpopularity, because there is nowhere else to go.

...perhaps the best rebuttal of the case is the obvious one: what bloody cheek. Caught breaking their own rules, the political parties demand that the rest of the country should pay them with sufficient generosity to remove them from further temptation.

Again, Bravo! I say! Bravo!

Quotes from elsewhere:

There is certainly something very odd about arguing the case for state funding on the grounds that without it you might be tempted to bend the rules. It's a bit like a burgular knocking on your door and telling you that you've an obligation to give him your valuables in order to save him from the moral nightmare of committing a crime.

Personally I hope that state funding doesn't become a reality, and it does worry me that the Conservative leadership has been making noises to suggest it might support the move. Taxing us for the privilege of choosing who taxes us would be absurdity verging on idiocy.

Dizzy Thinks

The major political parties have got themselves badly in debt, can't manage their finances, and, in their self-made predicament, have committed various sins and crimes. So now what do they do? Tighten their belts, spend less, behave honestly, apologize? Not a bit of it ... they work together to claim that tax-payer funding for political parties would make everything better. Aaargh!

David Field

How about: Parties can only spend money that they've declared as having raised, from declared sources. Any member contribution of over, say, £50(?) per year must be openly recorded (and perhaps such donation could be tax-deductible, would beat state funding), no loans except on an openly reported commercial basis.

Parties that can't raise the money from a broad base of member support aren't, by nature, broad based political parties.

Not Little England

Ming Campbell has said that:

... I am committed to open, transparent and broad-based funding of the party. Just as it is wrong for Labour to be in hock to an improbable alliance of trade unions and millionaires and it is wrong for Conservatives to be in hock to multi-millionaires. We Liberal Democrats must show the way by developing a broader base of donations to fund our campaigning.

Source

We can expect, therefore, at least the Lib Dems to oppose moves toward state funding., to do otherwise is to turn against developing a broader base of donations.

This is going on across the world, from New Zealand:

State funding of political parties is wrong because it is fundamentally immoral to force citizens to pay for organisations whose goals and objectives they do not believe in. Would it have been good to force people on the left to pay for Labour and National in 1990, when both parties were pushing economic liberalism? Is it right that the last election result should decide funding to campaign for the next one?

Liberty Scott

Labour is broke, that is why all their lickspittles are banging on in the blogosphere about "democracy funding".

This of course is typical tactics for them. Obfuscate and muddy to draw attention away from the blindly obvios fact that Labour are broke, they have next to no members and have to rob and pillage not only the public purse but also the purse of hard working Kiwis through their unions.

WhaleOil