I always knew that but there was an article in the paper about how much it costs to even get "pre-selected". It doesn't end there either. If you get elected you are expected to pass over a regular little chunk of your salary to your party.
One major party will allow you to vote out of the party line - unless you are a cabinet minister or shadow cabinet minister. The other major party will not allow you to vote out of line. They both expect help with fundraising - although only one actually states that. The other doesn't need to state that as it also gets income from another source - but woe betide you if you don't turn up at the sausage sizzle.
The two major parties cost about the same in the end I suppose. And then there is a third party. It's new - although the leader of it has been around for years. He has moved from state politics, to federal politics, and now (his hope) back again. He has an outstanding capacity to make publicity for himself. He has been a "darling" of the media because of it. Publicity in fact has got him everywhere. He has a political party of his own now. And, he wants funds. Running for his party is going to require a massive financial commitment on the part of the individual - win or lose.
I wonder about all of this. Even joining the political party of your choice will cost something. I have no idea what the annual subscriptions are but I suspect they are fairly high. And, even if you don't want to run for office, there is the fundraising to be done. It's not just a cake stall or a "chook" raffle these days. Some years ago the office of a local member of parliament was looking for much bigger donations.
Yes of course you can donate your time as well - if you feel sufficiently passionate about the cause.
I am wondering about this right now as I have been approached for help to write some election material.
"Cat, we need some help...could you sort of just do it...and we won't say anything...."
The group knows I am sympathetic to the idea. They also know I try to remain politically "neutral". That doesn't mean I fence sit but it does mean that I won't join a political party. I really do read the party policies on websites. I do actually ask questions.
But I also know that, the way we go about it, we don't get the best people into parliament.
We just get those who can afford, for one reason or another, to be there.