Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Political Donations...

More stories in the press about the use of political donations to “grease the wheels” to gain profitable political decisions.  Frank Sartor, ex Lord Mayor of Sydney has received donations from a particular developer and then Sartor made a land zoning decision that netted that developer a $2M windfall.


Without going into the whys and wherefores of each donation, the simple question is this:  “If you thought that it would not gain you any political advantage, would you give a donation to an Australian political party?”  The answer is of course NO.  Therefore, whilst we jazz up these payments as “political donations” or “campaign funding” they are purely and simply bribes.  If I as a multinational corporate give you $’s you in turn will be more sympathetic to my request for a law change or some other political instrument to be granted to aid my corporation.  Bribery.


Political parties have to disclose their donations and their source but what is the point of that?  It simply tells you as a voter who your party is going to favour… it is probably a more important list than a schedule of proposed policy changes as cash is king and any political ideal you may think your party upholds will be washed away should a financial benefactor have an opposing view.


So what do we do?

Ban donations.  Make parties a cash-exempt body and grant each political party a stipend that would see them through election campaigns from the parliamentary budget.  For example, every year each party can spend $5M of taxpayers dollars on marketing, promotional material etc and use that as their “funding” for their campaigns.  It will be a level playing field and at least then we wont have to worry about who is actually “sponsoring” the major parties of Australia.

1 comment:

DM said...

I agree, the rot needs to stop.

I'm a left wing voter traditionally, but I'll not be voting for Iemma next election. He's incompetent and corrupt and needs to be booted from office.

We need to ensure that the government is free of corporate influence at all levels and acts in the interest of the people that elect them, not the bias corporations who bribe them.

It makes me laugh that people still think this country is a 'democracy'. It couldn't be further from the truth, but that's for another discussion...