Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How much does it cost to to buy a vote, these days?

How much would you pay to buy your votes?

Turns out from party spending returns for the 201 election it cost some parties from $20 per vote (Social Credit) $25 per vote (ACT) to $30 per vote (Colin Craig Party) to buy their way into parliament. (Or not, in the case of Colin Craig and Don Brash and whoever the hell has replaced Bruce Betham in the funny-money party these days.)

Surely it would be cheaper to just stand outside polling booths offering a bit of the folding for a tick in the right box?  At least for ALCP, NZ First, Libertarianz and United the amount to be handed out could well be less than $2 per tick—and in the case of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party only 34 cents, i.e., less than one bullet per vote!

But this of course does not take into account the election bribes paid for with voters’ own money promised by all major parties—and now being borrowed for at the rate of $300 million per week. *

And where does the officially-announced money come from? Surprise, surprise, the Blue Team got most of theirs from businesses ** ; the Red Team got most of theirs from the unions ** ; and the Green Team didn’t need to get it from anywhere because they long ago captured the bureaucracy, the commentariat and the school curriculum, so every election they have the country’s scribblers, cardigan-wearers and school-kids campaigning on their behalf without costing them anything at all.

Interesting too to note where most Green voters come from. Either within a five-mile radius of Grey Lynn (where you can throw a dart at random and prick a journalist, or a ten-mile radius of Aro Street (where you could fire a bazooka at random and hit a dozen bureaucrats, probably the best thing you could do to save the planet).

So no surprises there either.

Democracy can be very expensive indeed.

* * * * *

* At that rate it will be costing every voter and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren around $20,000 each before the bribes are finally paid for.

** Remember, everyone, when you want politicians to control buying and selling, the first thing to be bought and sold will be your politicians

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