Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Libertarianz principled on NOT spending your money

The law prevents political parties from spending their own money on broadcasting advertising, and forces you to pay for them to do so, that's whether or not you agree with any of them. The Electoral Commission has released how it will be spending your money to advertise political parties most of you probably wouldn't have given a cent to. The results are here.
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Libertarianz is refusing this year to take the money, on principle. It believes that you shouldn't be forced to pay for it to advertise to you, at all. However, clearly every other political party is content with its hand in your bank account taking your money to make ads for you to hear or watch, without your consent.
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Of course that leaves it at a disadvantage compared with all other political parties, but then again it was at a disadvantage anyway. You see Labour and National both get just over $3.2 million to spend on advertising to you. How democratic is that? How fair is that? Why should the two dominant parties both get substantial amounts of money to advertise to you?
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While I fundamentally oppose taxpayer funding of political party advertising, I happen to agree with Idiot Savant at No Right Turn that if the parties are not going to get equal funding, those that get less funding should at least be legally allowed to spend their own money up to the amount Labour and National have got. Why not? Why shouldn't at the very least, ACT, the Greens, Libertarianz, Maori Party or Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party spend as much of their own money as they like, up to the $3.1 million?
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Why are Labour and National so special? Where are the MMP advocates pushing for breaking this duopoly? Perhaps they fear ACT could raise the money more readily than parties on the left, though I'm not so sure - the Greens are good at fundraising. National says it is fair, well they would wouldn't they? Happily protecting the state enforced duopoly on broadcasting.
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So if you object to being forced to pay for political parties campaigning for your vote, only one party qualified for funding and refused to spend your money - Libertarianz.
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You should be able to choose whether you fund a political party - forcing you to do so is undemocratic and nothing to do with political freedom.

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