Money and power in Victorian elections - Independent review of Victoria’s
13 September 2023
The independent review asked for input on: • the 4% vote threshold before a candidate gets their deposit back and receives public funding and • the disparity between funding per vote in the Legislative Assembly and in the Legislative Council. [...] Money and power in Victorian elections 12 In practice, public funding skews towards major parties The Victorian Electoral Commission publishes the amount of public funding that it pays to each party and candidate and (separately) the number of votes each party and candidate received. [...] The figure likely over-estimates the value of the electorate office and communications budget (not all of which is directly beneficial to the sitting MP, and some of which will be spent well before the election), but it does not include the other substantial financial and non-financial advantages of incumbency. [...] The Australia Institute has written extensively about the role of the crossbench, particularly in the Australian Senate.23 Sometimes the opposition is reluctant to question government policy or behaviour because there is a tacit agreement between the parties of government that neither benefits in the long term from such scrutiny. [...] This allows for orderly handover of power and legitimises the government of the day and the electoral process.27 • Political parties have the resources to assess and form comprehensive policies, and enduring parties can embody a coherent, distinct philosophy.