3 Comments Posted

  1. If elections could be about ideas not money, then maybe politicians could stop promising new ways to spend money that isn’t theirs in the first place? The “advance auction of stolen goods” reference by Mencken is only too true, the difference being that most of the political parties just have different ideas of what to do with other people’s money – rarely does it involve giving it back to them in any substantial quantity.

  2. Yep, DB,

    but I still have vivid memories of the pamphlet that Don Brash ‘knew nothing about’, until the extremely politically naive group of seven exclusive bretheren gave their press conference, ‘fessing up to having spent a mill or so on publicising National’s agenda back in 2005.

    It’s because we still have relatively low spending on election campaigns that they were so sure that they could materially shift the outcome with their private funding of campaign materials.

    We as a whole are a slightly more spohisticated electorate now, at the cost of having had the debate about election funding since the 2005 election.

  3. I supported the earlier legislation which limited excessesof campaign spending.

    Then I read Freakonomics

    Here’s the surprise: the amount of money spent by the candidates hardly matters at all. A winning candidate can cut his spending in half and lose only 1 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, a losing candidate who doubles his spending can expect to shift the vote in his favor by only that same 1 percent. What really matters for a political candidate is not how much you spend; what matters is who you are. Some politicians are inherently attractive to voters and others simply aren’t, and no amount of money can do much about it.


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