So Parliament has been dissolved by the Grand Prata Man and polling day for the General Election set for May 7.
Looking at the press release from the Elections Department reveals several interesting points about the deposit that must be paid by each candidate standing for election:
According to the Parliamentary Elections Act, the deposit per candidate is 8% of the total allowances payable to an MP in the preceding year and rounded to the nearest $500.00. The deposit for a candidate shall, therefore, be $16,000.
The deposit this year is $16,000, up from $13,500 from the previous election. Since the deposit is pegged to 8% of the total allowance payed to an MP in the previous year, it follows that the average MPs pay has risen 18.5% in five years since the last election.
Given the way our world class MPs are apt to pat each other on the back and give themselves large raises for a "job well done", this increase should not be a surprise to anyone.
But the very idea of pegging the election deposit to 8% of an MP's pay means that each time they give themselves a raise, they are raising the bar of entry to opposition candidates at each election by increasing the deposit as well. $16k might be chump change for a PAP MP, but not so for your average opposition candidate. Smaller opposition parties will have to work hard to canvass funds to field say a 5 or 6 member GRC fight.
Devious, the lightning party.