The 4% solution

After investing their all in the recent poll the Liberal and Labor parties will be paid more than $16 million each when the Australian Electoral Commission distributes funding after all votes are counted. The Greens will receive a $3 million plus windfall, the conservative Family First party will be paid about $170,000, Pauline Hanson is likely to receive about $190,000 and Independent MP Bob Katter is in line for almost 10 times more than the Democrats' share. The Democrats will have to do with $7000 in public electoral funding. The Dems received $2.4 million after the 2001 election.

While we can smirk at the irony of the Democrats financial demise, I cannot let this newsworthy gem pass unnoticed. What a rort! If elected the keen pollie is handsomely rewarded. If they lose, the keen pollie is handsomely rewarded. Only if they get done--and receive less than 4% of the vote -- do they miss out on the largesse.
At $1.94 per first preference vote I think I'm in the wrong job. In most seats 4 percent of the electorate is around 3000 --give or take a few -- votes. So if I can get 3000 people to vote for me I can net a handy $5820 pay out and my deposit back! And the more popular I can make myself the greater the magnanimity of the Commonwealth Electoral Commission. But with MP's base salaries now resting on $106,767 -- maybe to not-be-elected is settling for crumbs! But like a good parent, democracy Oz style wants to reward you for trying.

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