tip off

Check your maths, and your letterbox

You can learn a lot from digging through 12 years worth of Australian Electoral Commission filings. Yesterday in Crikey, Bernard Keane published his findings after picking through mining company donations to state and federal Labor parties and the Coalition since 2004. The numbers revealed the extent to which the Coalition benefited from a surge in mining company generosity after the Rudd government released its RSPT proposal in May 2010. It’s particularly breathtaking in column graph form:

 

Today, Keane keeps crunching the AEC data to explore the correlation between out-spending your opponent and winning elections, with some interesting insights for the Queensland election campaign to boot.

Day four of the campaign proper and Queensland Labor enters the 2012 election without one of its key campaigning tools — the ability to massively out-spend its opponents.

Queensland Labor’s success over the past four elections has been built on the ability to out-spend its conservative opponents, often on a massive scale, Australian Electoral Commission data shows. But as Crikey reports today, the Bligh government’s 2011 changes to political donation and expenditure laws capped not just campaign donations but also electoral expenditure since last May.

In 2001, Labor outspent the Nationals and Liberals $8.3 million to $5.6 million. In 2004, it spent more than twice as much: $14.1 million to $6.6 million. And in 2006, it carpet-bombed the conservatives with cash, spending $16.7 million to $7.7 million.

But since 2009 the tables have been turning. A unified Liberal-National Party lifted its fundraising and pulled in more than $12 million that year, and spent $11.5 million. But Labor still outmatched them, spending more than $14 million to achieve a win for Anna Bligh. Under Campbell Newman, the LNP could have expected to generate a significant increase in funding under the old rules and responded in kind to Labor’s spending.

But no longer under the new rules, which the LNP has criticised for favouring Labor. And in terms of electoral cycles, they might have a point.

So the campaigns will have to get more creative with their spends — though perhaps not as creative as this particular flier circulating in the Brisbane seat of Ashgrove right now …

It’s amazing what taking the time to do some careful maths (and checking your letterbox) can reveal about politics in this country.

7
  • 1
    Phen
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    That flyer is an absolute disgrace!

  • 2
    The Pav
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    As well as the flyer being a disgrace the fact that the Coalition is in the thrall of the smoking & mining lobbies is a disgrace

  • 3
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    That flyer violates the English language and elementary design principles. What did they use to put it together: blu-tack? The “violates” looks like it came from a stencil cut out of a potato.

  • 4
    Tom
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    The march of the rar right christian conservatives spreads from bonkersville USA to bonkersville Queensland. How sad, how sad.

  • 5
    Indiana Jones
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Not a Queenslander here, no I am from the state that is more red neck, a sand groper. OH MY GOD! This, when (and I think it IS when, not if) this, or its ilk, appears at my next state election, I wonder how many people will be instantly turned off? Nowhere near enough I am sad to say…

    Truly sickening.

  • 6
    AR
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    The type face is less of an affront that the word itself - not dog whistling or nuttin’ but..FFS!

  • 7
    Edward James
    Posted Wednesday, 7 March 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I do not understand the graph above ? It is certainly out of step with what I read! Are the blue and red arse about or correct? Seems to be just like Australian politics actually, do not believe what you read and see! has anyone else noticed the graph is silly?

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