Come out to the polls and win a Tesla: one Georgian opposition party’s initiative
Georgian opposition party Girchi [Geo. pinecone] will give out Tesla cars to citizens who come out to the polls in the October parliamentary elections. The party intends to purchase cars if it enters parliament and receives state funding.
“Girchi is not going to take money from the taxpayers. We thought a lot about what to do with this money and decided to use it to increase the motivation of citizens to go to the polls. With the budgetary money for the party, we will buy Teslas, which we will then raffle out to the voters. The more votes Girchi gets, the more budget financing there will be and the more Teslas we can purchase,” said party leader Zurab Japaridze.
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The current law states that for the first 50 thousand votes received, a political party receives 15 lari [about $5] of budgetary funding for each vote, and five lari [about $1.5] for each subsequent vote.
Girchi leader Japaridze says that if the party surpasses the threshold of one percent in the 2020 parliamentary elections and enters parliament, it will demand the cancellation of party funding from the state budget.
Anyone can participate in the lottery, but there are several conditions that must be met: anyone who wants to participate in the lottery must register on the party’s website, take a photo at the polling station on election day so that the polling station number is visible, and then publish the photo on their page on Facebook.
The party says it doesn’t matter which party and candidate the participant votes for. The main goal for the party is that voters come to the polls.
Girchi is a non-parliamentary libertarian party oriented towards the youth population. The party is known for its struggle to decriminalize marijuana and its fight against compulsory military service. Among its most famous initiatives is the creation of a new church specifically to ordain young people to the priesthood and thereby help them legally avoid being drafted. Another is the creation of an alternative Shmaksi service after mandatory taxi licensing was introduced in Tbilisi.
In the 2018 presidential election, party leader Zurab Japaridze received two percent of the vote.