The Electoral Commission is hearing oral submissions today and tomorrow on how to divide up the $3.212 million (incl GST – please note National!) of broadcasting allocations for parties. They have also put up on their website the written submission by the parties. They also get allocated 102 minutes of time on TV One and Radio NZ for opening and closing broadcasts.
The Kiwi Party and Pacific Party forgot or decided not to apply, so miss out.
- ACT says they don’t like the system (esp that parties cannot buy their own time). They claim the $3.2 million should be divided up equally amongst all parties which are viable to gain seats. This would give $400 million thousand to each of the eight parliamentary parties. They have no chance of getting this. Their backup plea is give National and Labour a bit more, but treat the other six parliamentary parties the same. They do not reveal their membership size but say they have 30,000 people on their mailing list. They also amusingly claimed that as Don Brash got 40% with ACT’s policies, they should get money reflecting that.
- ACLP cites a poll giving them 7.9% support. But only in Greymouth! Also that they have the longest serving party leader.
- Libertarianz call the rules immoral, and says they want as much money as possible, which they will not spend, hence saving the taxpayer money. I love it!
- Maori Party has 23,215 members (impressive – around three times that of Labour). Want more money so they can campaign in Maori (te reo) also.
- New World Order (no not joking) just wants one minute for their opening adddress. Should be fascinating!
- NZ First claim to have over 10,000 members. Say that Winston’s poll ratings should count more than the party’s. Says NZ First should get more funding than all other parties except Labour and National. They won’t.
- Labour makes a big fuckup in their submission and additionally gives National 100,000 extra votes (combined party and electorate) and mistakenly claim Labour got 39.70% of the combined votes and National 40.89%. Would be funny if National got more money based on Labour’s inability to add. They also claim there are no published polls on the electorate vote but this is untrue as Colmar Brunton poll on this monthly. Labour twice claim there are no electorate polls so are misleading the Commission significantly.They say that the average of all polls for last year has Nats 49.3% and Lab 36.3%. They claim 54,892 members but this includes “compulsory members” through affiliates and it is unknown how many people have voluntarily joined Labour – 8,000 is the rumoured level. As they are now low in the polls, they have changed their previous position to claim poll levels should have just the same weighting as number of MPs and votes at last election. Their conclusion is National and Labour should get the same despite National being ahead even on their own suggested criteria. Next tier should be NZ First and Greens. Third tier Maori, Act and UFNZ, Fourth Progressive and 5th those not in Parliament.
- Progressive says should be three tiers – Labour and National in tier one, NZ Furst and Greens in tier 2 and the other four parliamentary parties in tier 3. Whines a lot that their polling is bad because junior Coalition partners get little publicity.
- RAM have not learnt how to turn off full justification in MS Word. Cites votes in AUckland council elections.
- Alliance says the minimum for any party should be $25,000 (was $10,000 last time). Refers amusingly to leadership changes and “schisms”.
- Family Party just cites media coverage.
- Green Party has around 4,000 members. Say no party polling below 2% should get opening address time but can get funds. Says National and Labour should get same funding. Then Green Party get third largest amount – more than NZ Furst due to their low polling.
- Liberal Party has a long whine about corruption involving the State Services Commissioner, the Chief Ombudsman and the Auditor-General. How the hell do people like this get 500 members? They claim they will get 5% to 10% of the vote. Want 10 minutes for their opening and closing addresses. No chance.
- National has been consistent with its 2005 submission (unlike Labour) and have said Labour and National should get the same amount of money despite National’s massive lead in the polls. Doesn’t state membership level but that confident higher than any other party. A minor boob in they refer to 69 electorates instead of 70 which it now is. Says tier two parties for funding should be all the other parliamentary parties except Progressive. Notes the two main parties got 62% of the funding in 2002 but 80% of the votes. Advocates the share going to them should increase to 66% or two thirds. Also wants the share of opening broadcast time (combined for the two majors) to go from 33% to 42% which would be 15 minutes each.
- South Island Party quotes from its own Wikipedia entry in support of its application. Hilarious.
- United Future whines about Gordon Copeland leaving and says he should still be treated as a United Future MP as he was a List MP. Quotes 2002 election results as they prefer to ignore 2005. Incorrectly claims that NZ First got 44% more MPs in 2002 than the Greens despite just 1% more vote. The are right NZ First had 13 MPs to 9 Greens but NZF got 10% to 7% for the Greens. They also speculate that Labour may not have won the last election if they had not been given $200,000 more broadcasting money than National. Says they should get the same. They support all the other parliamentary parties bar Progressive being second tier for funding. Their submission is probably the most comprehensive and well argued and even recommends specific funding levels for all tiers.
The non parliamentary parties appeared on Monday to argue their case. The parliamentary ones appear on Tuesday. If I can spare the time I might pop down and blog them.
I am also going to do some of my own calculations based on the Labour Party submission, but correcting the errors they have made. Will blog these when done.Tags: broadcasting allocations, Electoral Commission