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Taxpayer Funding of Political Parties a Step Too Far

Taxpayer Funding of Political Parties a Step Too Far

“Taxing New Zealanders to subsidise political parties would weaken our democracy,” says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union.

The Union is hitting back at Labour Party leader David Cunliffe’s suggestion that it’s time to consider publicly-funded elections.

“Suggesting that tax dollars from those who don’t support political parties should be used to promote them is outrageous,” says Mr Williams.

"Mr Cunliffe argues that public funding of political parties is about ‘fairness’. But democracy is about accountability. Even if it was about fairness, how is it fair to tax Kiwis to fund Mr Cunliffe’s, or anyone else’s, political efforts?"

"Politicians having to justify their work to supporters, members, and donors is healthy. Public funding would give a huge advantage to the established political parties. It professionalises politics and stamps on the grass roots."

"The vast majority of donations made to political parties are small. That is a good thing. It means politicians and party bosses are accountable to many."

ENDS

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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