Preferably of money…
A question arose on Saturday afternoon – after everyone in the room had done their various voting chores – about the business of standing for election in Australia. Goodness knows we stand for lots of things; buses, pop concerts, and really bad biscuits at most meetings. How do you go about standing for election?
It appears that you need to be a part of a party – either a big one that makes you or a small one that you make yourself. The first alternative generally requires you to be of like mind with a great many other people, a self-advertiser, and the kind of devious politician that can act like a devious politician…
The second alternative means you have to corral a smaller group of nutters – but you still have to find a considerable amount of money to make the thing work. There is advertising, promotion, telephones, lawyers, etc. and not least the deposit of money with the Electoral Commission to guarantee that you are a real person – not a Bedlington Terrier in sunglasses. That you will become a real person who is sneered at and pushed into the gutter is another thing, but if you want to form the ” I Order You To Respect My Authoritah Party ” ( apologies to Cartman ), you have to expect it.
Let’s face it – no-one respects your authoritah outside the cardboard polling booth, so don’t expect that to change once they’re in there with the tiny pencil.
The barrier of a substantial monetary deposit – $ 2000 – is nothing to a major party but can serve as a way of keeping the worst of the nutters off the increasingly long ballot paper. This is a blessing in the cardboard polling booth as the thing seems to get larger each election.
I note that this year that as we were not required to number every single candidate in preference – there were some 25+ of them – we were given permission to mark our first 12 and let the rest go. For myself, I get some amusement with the weirder parties and independents but that sheet of paper is taking on the dimensions of a ship’s sail. I should welcome the raising of the deposit to reduce the number of loons let loose.