… and also solve the Poster Madness
Everyone should have ‘an equal right to elect and to be elected’, that is fundamental in any democratic society.
But, every year the Political Parties receive over €15 million in state funding, this is used to promote their ‘brand’ and to help in elections.
The state pays for the strategy advisors, the posters, flyers and the advertising of the big-Party candidates. But independent candidates or Alliances like ours get no funding and have to pay for everything ourselves.
It is time to regulate elections, the strategy might be summed up as:
‘Fund the Process, not the Parties’
- Firstly, the state should stop giving money to the Political Parties.
- Secondly, our state should provide financial support to each candidate
equally, to cover the cost of posters, flyers and other promotional activities.
How much funding should be provided can be discussed, but it should be the same for all.
Doing this would save the state huge amounts of money, this might then be re-directed to providing other means of informing voters – via websites, smartphone apps, video, press-release services etc.
In this context we could regulate the use of election posters, significantly limiting their number, their size and the materials used.
This would help reduce the mayhem that posters cause at every election and help eliminate the ‘single-use’ plastics involved – it would also encourage the re-use of posters rather than dumping and adding to the waste.
Creating a level playing field for all candidates, regardless of Party affiliation, also requires that we abolish privately funded advertising in elections, so as to prevent big-money or any vested interests exerting undue influence.
These ideas are being advanced at the moment by the Housing Rights & Reform Alliance, and have been forwarded to the Electoral Commission.
This reform, taken with the other policy statements of our Alliance, on the need for meaningful public consultation, places more power in the hands of citizens, where it belongs.
If new and democratic politics is ever to emerge, if the citizens are to have the say, in Councils and Government, then such reforms are needed.
Our policy is about Empowering voters, not the Political Parties, others should adopt this POSITIVE approach.