John Key has been making a joke of the electoral system in recent days with his support of criminal MPs and his veiled attempts to foist the crazy Conservatives on various electorates. But he was quick to pour scorn on a very popular micro-party who were less likely to become a pliant tool of the National party.
Prime Minister John Key says the joke is on the New Zealand public after the Electoral Commission gave the satirical Civilian Party $33,000 to contest this year’s election.
Key has heaped scorn on the party, run by satirical writer Ben Uffindell, which is campaigning on free ice cream for all and a llama for each child living in poverty.
In a fairly typical fit of pique, John Key also noted
“But in reality, the Civilian Party will be thinking the biggest joke’s on us, the taxpayer.”
Clearly he hasn’t realised who and what Civilian Party founder Ben Uffindell is satirising and why so many taxpayers support them.
Uffindell said the Civilian Party was “not a joke” and had every right to the funding as it met all the legal criteria for a legitimate political party.
“We would not be allowed to accept the money if our party weren’t real,” he said.
“There are other joke parties getting funding, like the Conservatives and ACT.”
These two joke political parties are currently polling close at or close to zero, but also met the criteria for a political party.
Act will be receiving $76,930, and the Conservatives $60,207. At the same funding as The Civilian party are the moribund Alliance party which was so strong in the late 1990s.
A similarly humourless response was given by the “Taxpayers Union”, a rather meaningless Act front organisation dedicated to giving press statements of Act policy to credulous journalists.
Update: Oh how I wish I had written this.. Occasionally erudite cuts to the crux of the matter.
Here’s the thing though – no money is being spent that would not have otherwise been spent on broadcasting. The Electoral Commission has a total pot of $3,283,250, which it divides up amongst all eligible parties who apply for a share. That’s the same amount as was allocated in 2011, and prior to that, in 2008 and 2005. The full $3,283,250 will be divvied up, whether the Civilian Party gets its share or not. Presumably, if just National and Labour applied, they’d split the whole pot between them.
Let’s be clear - if the Civilian Party were to renounce its claim to its allocation of $33,365, the taxpayer would not save a dime. That money would simply be allocated to the other political parties who have their hands out.
Really, when it comes down to it, John Key’s issue is that the more funds other parties receive from the total pot, the less National gets. Where Jordan Williams’ objection comes from is less clear, although the options appear to be a) ignorance of the broadcasting allocation rules, and/or b) an under-developed sense of humour.
In essence the joyless idiot at the “Taxpayers Union” Jordan Williams is revealed as being a complete fool, and John Key as money grubber complaining that other parties get a bite at the money set aside for a democratic contest by taxpayers.