The Election Financing Act (EFA) limits the amount political parties and candidates can spend on advertising. There are two different rules that apply:
1) Advertising limit during the pre-election period for a fixed date election [s.58(1) for registered parties, s.58(2) for candidates]
2) Advertising limit for the election period [s.51(2) for registered parties, s.52(2) for candidates]
The limit for the pre-election period (90 days before the writ) is separate and in addition to the limit for the election period (writ day to election day).
Advertising limits for the pre-election period:
- For a registered party: $351,835
- For a candidate: $8,533
At the beginning of each year in which a fixed date election will be held, the limits are adjusted for inflation using CPI (Consumer Price Index) [s.59(1)].
Advertising limits for the election period:
- Per voter dollar rate x number of voters on the voters list
How does the EFA define advertising?
Any advertising that directly or indirectly promotes or opposes a registered party or a candidate, including [s.115]:
- in newspapers, magazines or other periodicals, or on the Internet,
- on radio or television, or
- on billboards, buses or other property normally used for commercial advertising.
It includes direct production costs.