This morning the NZ Herald reported that the Green Party want taxpayers to foot even more of the bill for political parties:
In a democracy it is up to the public to decide which party, policies and personalities they want representing them in the corridors of power. The popular prosper and the shunned struggle.
Despite all the rhetoric that private money is bad for politics, it is better than public money cementing the status quo. "Equalling the playing field" by giving political parties taxpayer subsidies gives political incumbents a huge advantage. It makes it more difficult for new political movements to get off the ground. It means that the media gain even more influence.
As it currently stands, the taxpaying public already hand over generous subsidies to political parties so they can in turn be force-fed political propaganda in the lead-up to every election. In the 2011 election alone, taxpayers paid up $3.2m for the privilege.
So, should it really be the taxpayers’ role to support dead-beat political parties whose activists struggle to solicit donations for unpopular policies? Absolutely not.