New rules covering election expenses come into force in January aimed at depriving smaller parties of publicity.
The new rules mean that any activity that would normally have to be declared as an election expense will be backdated six months from the date of an election, even if there was no reasonable expectation of an election in that six month period. Receipts must be provided and the spending limit for the election will be backdated for the six months.
This benefits the LibLabCon immensely because the only way smaller parties will ever effectively challenge the LibLabCon is with publicity. The media generally ignores smaller parties in favour of the LibLabCon so smaller parties have to rely on leaflets, newsletters and public meetings to get their name about. And because smaller parties have proportionately more activists willing to get off their backsides than the LibLabCon, you are much more likely to get a UKIP leaflet through your door than one for the LibLabCon.
The upshot of all this is that a party could go out and deliver 10,000 leaflets and hold a public meeting in January and find that they've spent more than they're allowed for an election campaign and can't stand a candidate. Without regular leafleting campaigns, smaller parties like UKIP will suffer at the ballot box in a way that the LibLabCon never will because they just don't need the publicity. The system is deliberately skewed in the favour of the LibLabCon and today's announcement that the BBC, Sky and ITV will hold a "leaders debate" for Comrade Brown, Comrade Camoron and that bloke who leads the Lib Dims* in the run-up to the general election gives the LibLabCon even more of an advantage.
Forcing parties to scale back their campaigning between elections will harm the prospects of everyone but the LibLabCon. It's a stitch-up.
* I know who it is
Monday, 21 December 2009
Posted by Stuart Parr at 22:18
PPC's Beware: Another LibLabCon Stitch-up