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So what is the best way to fund our political parties?

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posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 12:21 PM
With all the recent media about funding of political parties, is there a better solution?

To me, there are several options:

State Funding - On the surface does seem a logical solution but means a greater burden on our taxes, and who among us would want taxes taken to funding political parties over hospitals, Police and the like.

Of course, one big question here, would be the defination of a political party and the funding formula. Would it be fair to base the funding on the results of the last general election? How does this ensure that local parties are funded? What about the smaller parties who have no MPs but local councillors, such as the Greens or the BNP.

And on the BNP, if you had state funding and an agreed formula, then all parties that meet the rules would have to be funded. How many of us would want our taxes to fund parties we disagree with?

Leave it as is - Make no more changes and leave party funding as it is. I think this one depends on your viewpoint. If you support the Toroes, for example, then seeing the Labour have all this bad press might bring a smile, just like I am sure it did to Labour supporters in the late 80s and early 90s, when the Tories were suffering over funding and cash for questions.

And how many of these big donors are doing this just to be nice and for the good of the country? And can the party of Government ever convince us that decisions are taken without thinking of big donors. If if there is little or no truth to this, the papers will latch on to something, just as they have done with the recent funding questions.

Have limits on what parties can spend - This does seem to have some sense and could stop the funding arms race but do we want to constaint our parties? And I am sure that would employ an army of lawyers to find loopholes in our funding laws. I see a limit helping the smaller parties as it would give them a more even playing field.

One of the questions I have seen in the media, is the idea of a limit on the amount a single donor can give. Begs the question of the timeframe and would this be legal under the EU.

Who cares - Of course, one way to have no worries about funding, is to open funding right up. Anyone can give what they want and there would be no controls and no need to delcare any donations

So, where do I fit in?

I certainly think all donations, no matter what the size, would be declared and in the public domain and a limited on the amount one can donate in a parliament.

The question of funding of our political parties comes now to what kind of political parties do we want and how much we are prepared to put up with or enforce, to ensure that parties are funded in a legal and decent way.

posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 04:44 PM
I think I favour spending limits myself - slick, expensive publicity campaigns is surely only a couple of steps away from buying votes?

If parties were limited to what they were allowed to spend in local and national elections then they wouldn't need to borrow ridiculous amounts of cash meaning they wouldn't require huge donations to stay out of the red.

It's also more democratic this way - it'll be more about substance and the party's policies that they put forward in their manifesto rather than about style and who has the better advertisements.

State funding... I'm not happy with this, especially given the thread I made earlier today discussing a Treasury proposal to chop £15billion off the defence budget. There are far more worthy ways of spending tax payers' money. And again, the point about state funding for parties you disagree with is another precarious issue... I don't want my taxes funding the BNP or the Communist Part of Great Britain, for instance, since I abhor both.

posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:33 PM
Much easier way to do it.

Most areas have a, free local paper.

Each person gets an equal percentage of the paper (say 25%) per-week for 6 weeks prior to the election if they can get X percentage of the papers population to sign in support of them.

The same can be done for T.V, radio, etcetera. If they really cared there are several easy solutions which reduce spending by a lot.

posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 05:39 PM
Odium I like what you're idea attempts but there are far more costs in politics than getting you're written message out in a single newspaper, in a world where not everyone reads papers anyway.
Conference-meeting room higher (often very expensive), event advertising, speaker costs (travel ones, but even direct payment), security (sometimes) door to door literature, sometimes the major parties even use comedians. All the parties have secretaries so that things can be arranged, and the many, many letters organised or prioritised.

But all you people who are against state political fundingon cost grounds need to be aware of just how small the cost of running a party is. It can be done for about £3-4 million a year for each major party. The only reason why it’s now a lot more than that is because there is no restriction of how much money a political party may receive in year. Therefore they currently try to out do each other by spending it on whatever money can buy.

Since we have 3 major political parties we’re talking £12 million a year for the political system of 60 million people. That’s 20p each, or 0.38 pence a week.
Personally I wouldn’t willing pick 20p out of a urinal, but I’d rather pick 20p out of a urinal than live in a year in a Britain that’s politically corrupt. I'm a patriot!!

Also compare whatever money may be spent under a state funded system with the expenditure of the state.
As you can see our government spends a massive £552 billion year and receives 516 billion.

I have a theory that money is being lauded through people like Abrahams to support the interests of another nation. However even if it’s only to make millions through doggy planning permission, changes in how we tax businesses ect, I still think both this damage, and the way it is committed is worth more than 12 million, a figure so small in state expenditure you would need the Hubble Telescope (or perhaps just many bureaucrats) to locate it.

I believe those who worry about state political funding on cost grounds can either be the most tight-fisted, unpatriotic (even). Or they can be the suckers of a privately owned biased British media which knows it has various interests in a political system that can be shaped by other wealthy business (or dare I say it; allied nations).

Does for example: a pro Iraq war, pro Israel, (presently) pro Labour Party man like Rupert Murdoch instruct his employees in the Sun, Times, Star, News of the World, Sky news or Fox News (ect) to go ape over the idea of state political funding to: save nations like Britain 12 million quid? Or: For deeper motives his media fails to mention in its constructed arguments?

If we are really to be tight-fisted enough to save 60 million 12 million then I would go with the Tories idea of a £50 thousand pound gap on donations. However to make it fair on Labour I believe there should be an absolute limit on how much the 3 major political parties can receive a year, and this may indeed total about 4 million pounds.
However I oppose financial restrictions on new political parties unless it’s the same as the major. This is because a consequence of our voting system is to give them a very uphill struggle, it’s also because I believe competition between minor and major parties should not be encouraged, but also cherished.

posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 06:38 PM
Right, so local paers can get collected en masse......

My personal favourite is having both private/state money. Why? Because we can set the bar for public high enough to keep out the BNP, but at the same time demand half of it is not spent on posters, rather research which is criminally underfunded in the British political system. Allow capped private donations on top and Hey Presto, the BNP get no funding, The Greens still get their funding and both Labour and the Conservatives have to start to actually research some policies. Like Majik.

posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 08:26 PM
Firstly redled you're system would be nasty because it's undemocratic. And in the spirit of being undemocratic would present a challenge to all new political parties (both pro and anti free speech). This is not the kind of democracy my grandparents fought to defend.

If our system is to be enhanced then let's start by making it easier for smaller parties to gain a foot hold in the system and not harder.

I could understand you're strategy if it looked like the BNP had more chance of forming a government than say Greenpeace, or if for every person willing to attend a racist march there weren’t at least another ten willing to shout abuse at them, or commit violence against them.

There is a certain element in this country (and I fear you might be one of them) who seem to preoccupy themselves with thinking "Nazi, nazi, nazi" when in actual fact all they are is a very small set of opinion holders, out of an otherwise very diverse, and intelligent British, political opinion holding, class.

If you want to be anti-libertarian, and have even less respect for democracy than the BNP (who whatever their real plans have (unlike others) so far never formally advocated banning any political group), then I suggest you stick to the theme of banning the BNP altogether (Perhaps even advocate putting anyone with "bad political views, in concentration camps, complete with gas chambers; after all; an eye for an eye right?).

At least wanting to ban them is purely honest, transparent, illiberal left, authoritarianism, and which is therefore at least semi decent enough to leave other people alone. But cunningly mucking around with the legal fabric for the political system of this country is no way to respond to such an eccentric (and delusional) minority. Frankly I find it sickening, and somewhat overactive of you to give it the thought.

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]

posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 09:33 AM
Thinking some more, one question does that come out of this.

A defination of a political party?

And I am going to leave this one as is for the time being

posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 07:42 AM
This is the link to my podcast to support this thread

And a good idea from a poster!!!

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 07:20 AM
Seems the podcast thread is getting some posts as well.

If you go down the route of state funding, the biggest question is what is a political party.

I think we can all create a list that would include all the parties with MPs at Westminister, but we need to create all the other assemblies and parliaments of the UK. And how do you ensure that the local and county elections are funded as well.

With state funding, how could we ensure that both national and local parties are funding to give them a similar advantage at the local and county level.

Liberal1984, you mentioned a figure of £3-4 million for the 3 major parties. Does this include funding for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. What about at the local level?

And how do we ensure thatthat smaller parties are given a fair crack of the whip, who typically operating at the local or county level. Take for example the Greens and BNP. I am sure both would be delighted to have a MP but both do well at local council level. How do we ensure these parties are funded and that the big 3 do not have an unfair advantage.

If we have state funding, and I am not entirely convinced that this should be totally funded by the state, there needs to be rules governing who can get funding. Could you say any party with more than 10,000 registered members is entitled to state funding. This could be extended to cover national, county, local and parish. And even European elections.

I think there should be a limit on what parties can spend in a non election year and an election year but that State funding should not cover all this and that parties do need to seek outside funding. Any donation to a party should be in the public domain, (to include loans) and there would have be be an effective policing organisation with the powers to fine and enforce the fine.

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