Starting to wonder just how much money the major political parties will p*ss down the drain during the 2010 federal election campaign?
The 2007 election was a pretty expensive and wasteful affair and this one will have to equal it, if only because of the level of noisy desperation which is bound to consume Abbott and his mates.
An Australian Electoral Commission media release on 29 January reminded us of just how much the pollies spent trying to swing our votes last time round.
The actual 2008-09 disclosure documents for that between elections period will not be online until 1 February 2010, but here is part of what the AEC is saying:
As at 21 January 2010 the AEC had received 73 political party returns with total receipts of $93,699,223 disclosed by political parties for 2008-09, compared to 73 political party returns with total receipts of $216,523,873 currently reported for the 2007-08 financial year.
The same 73 political party returns show $93,880,386 as a total expenditure for the 2008-09 financial year, compared to $213,492,720 currently reported for the 2007-08 returns.
192 associated entities reported total receipts of $716,800,790 for 2008-09, compared to 245 returns disclosing $702,561,166 for 2007-08.
37 returns of political expenditure by third parties show a total of $6,493,558 was spent on political commentary, advertising, polling or other research for 2008-09 compared to 75 returns for 2007-08 showing total expenditure of $51,333,987.
229 donors completed returns for 2008-09 disclosing total donations of $10,294,507 compared to 409 returns for 2007-08 disclosing $26,425,088 donated to political parties.
Apart from associated entities, the amounts disclosed are significantly less than for 2007-08 because that year covered a federal election and the Gippsland by-election. The only electoral events in 2008-09 were the by-elections in Lyne and Mayo.