Joe Hockey was on Sunday this morning. He talked about Kevin Rudd and his regular appearance on Sunrise as well as the ‘outrageous’ amount of money the Labor Party will spend between now and the election in November.
Joe tried to suggest that Rudd’s appearances on Sunrise are no longer appropriate because he is the Opposition Leader. However he defended his own appearances. Why is it acceptable for a minister of Parliament to appear regularly on a light, entertaining morning show but not for the opposition leader?
He also suggested that the Labor party will spend around $100 million leading up to the election ($88 million from the unions and $12 million from the state Labor branches). This continues the governments attack on the Labor party for being ‘ruled by the union’s’. Meanwhile the Federal Government has been described as the biggest advertising spender in Australian political history – (see quote below from SHM – 2005).
“Crikey! Remember crocodile hunter Steve Irwin bobbing about on your TV screen a year or so back warning you not to bring any plants or animals into the country?
“You paid for that ad. Irwin received a $175,000 appearance fee for one day of filming, a recent Senate estimates committee revealed, and the Quarantine Matters campaign cost $5.3 million.
“Yet it was a comparatively cheap campaign for the Federal Government, which is the biggest advertising spender in Australian political history, and a significant player when compared with the corporate sector.
“Federal Government spending on advertising jumped by nearly $70 million last financial year [2004-05] to $170 million, according to Opposition figures released this week.” – Stephanie Peatling, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 Mar 2005, p.19.
Joe said the government’s spending of millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money is necessary to let people know about the policies they are putting forward. I tend to agree. However…
- the Constitution allows political parties to advertising as much as they like,
- the Labor party is spending about half the amount the government is spending (according to the quote above), and
- the Labor party isn’t spending taxpayers money > unlike taxpayers, a union member can choose to leave the union if they disagree with this use of their money.
Get over it Joe… Move on…