Monday, 18 February 2008

The cost of freedom

We will no doubt be embroiled soon in the resignation/byelection scandal. As is predicted, and seems an inevitability, senior Liberals will resign in the next few months; ill-suited to sit on the backbench they will no doubt employ their talents elsewhere!
But at what cost?
The first ever election for the Commonwealth of  Australia in 1901 cost £56 331. The Australian Electoral Commission's figures going up to 2005 show that the 2004 election cost in excess of $117 million.
Of great interest are  the various  by-election costs which show that since 2000 a by election cost in excess of $400,000! (see the interesting document here)
At least 4 senior Coalition MPs are being flagged as disappearing before the end of their term, maybe in the next few months (Downer, Andrew, McGauran and of course Costello). This "I didn't win so I'm taking my ball and going home" mentality will obviously be costly to the taxpayer.
I suggest that some reimbursement, perhaps from the more than generous superannuation payouts, could be expected.
They will all of course go on to very highly paid jobs, probably better paid than the Parliament, so I don't have much sympathy.

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