Left Watch

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The Green Party seeks state funding of political parties

Green Party Leftwatch logo I pointed out here during the election that Green Party are anything but cuddly - their policies are a far Left statist outfit.

More evidence of all of this came yesterday in evidence given by the party's deputy leader, Adrian Ramsay, to the Standards Committee's hearing on Party Political Finance.

Demanding a "level playing field" for party funding, he said:

"Fixing British democracy isn't just about ending the abuse of expenses. It's about facilitating choices for the voters, and restoring people's faith in politics. So it simply shouldn't be the case that parties are so reliant on wealthy donors to fund their activities. That inevitably means that some parties can afford huge PR campaigns, while the voters don't get to hear about alternative policies put forward by parties that are less well-heeled.

"Reliance on wealthy donors also inevitably leads voters to question whether the decisions the big parties make, whether over policy or appointments, are influenced by the wishes of donors. State funding will help refocus politics on principles rather than fundraising.

"The Greens believe that party funding should be calculated and administered on a regional basis, with funds allocated in proportion to the number of votes cast in the region in the last round of proportional representation elections held across the entire region. Parties would need to exceed a threshold of 3% of the vote to become eligible for this funding."

I'm sure I've said it before and I will doubtless say it again, but I believe that political parties should have to survive within a free market environment and so long as there is transparency about who gives substantial amounts, there is no logical argument even for capping political donations.

If the Green Party's ideas are so wonderful and worthwhile, those that support them should remain free to give them as much funding as they like.

The very last thing that the taxpayer should be expected to be footing the bill for right now is the running of political parties.

Jonathan Isaby