Monday, February 11, 2008

More good news from the anti-ETA front: Judge Garzon ordered 14 members of the new board of directors of the illegal ETA front-party Batasuna to be rounded up on charges of collaboration with a terrorist organization. Spain has the equivalent of a RICO law; that is, being part of a group that is declared illegal is, in itself, against the law. They are squashing ETA's infrastructure, and there is absolutely no way any of ETA's front parties are going to be able to run in the election.

One reason this is important is because Spain's genius campaign finance laws (which every party breaks and which causes lots of corruption) offer government campaign subsidies to political parties--so if an ETA-front party manages to get itself on the ballot, then it gets our tax money! And you know whose hands that campaign finance money ends up in.

This is a stunt that is often resorted to by a notorious South American cult, the Siloists, also known as the Humanist Movement. These guys set up something called the Humanist Party, whose goal is to get the free TV advertising and campaign finance subsidies to spread its guru's message. Once they actually set up something called the Green Ecologist Party and got like 20,000 votes, due to the confusion between their front group and the other (slightly less offensive) Green parties.

I personally would remove all limits on political campaign spending and donations, as it seems to me that you ought to be able to give as much money as you want to your candidate of choice, and that candidate ought to be able to spend as much money as he can get on his campaign. To keep things honest, simply require all donations over, say, $1000, to be announced at a weekly public press conference.

And I would bloody well get rid of anything even resembling a government subsidy for anything even resembling a political party, and that includes activist groups, so-called NGOs, and alleged think tanks and "educational" foundations.

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