Saturday, February 7, 2009

Disturbing recent political links

  1. I love the king, but I was disappointed to read that Thailand is now rigourously prosecuting those that even hint at negativety towards the royal family.
  2. Buying votes may not be so costly, according to a recent paper looking at the political effects of a conditional cash transfer program in Uruguay, mentioned at the PSD blog. To increase vote share by 1%, a government may only need to increase total spending by 0.9% of total government expenditures. Given that so many elections have been very close these days, this is a relatively small amount to spend. Interestingly, this would imply the exact opposite of political clientalism: pay your opponents to vote for you, not your supporters.
  3. What is the real pay rate of Kenyan MPs? According to AllAfrican, its not just the advertised 200,000 SH (about $2,500) monthly salary, but more like 1.4 MILLION SH when you take into account untaxed allowences such as cars, house and transport allowences. That's $17,500 a month.

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