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
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