Larissa Waters "Banning Dirty Donations" Bill

We have been invited to make a submission by November 6. Summary of the bill is that it intends to prevent the following industries from making political donations:

  • property developers
  • the tobacco industry
  • the banking industry
  • liquor and gambling businesses
  • pharmaceuticals companies
  • the mining industry and
  • representative organisations for these industries.

“The bill also imposes a cumulative limit on donations from any source of $3,000 per election term.”

Specifically targetting certain problematic industries may be effective for addressing certain issues with those industries. Eg one major indirect effect of this bill is to assist with efforts addressing climate change.

However there are still issues caused by unchecked lobbying in many other areas, for example, the current overbearing copyright regime is the result of decades of media industry lobbying with negative repercussions in numerous areas.

What should the theme of our submission be? Perhaps encouraging a solution like a “common pool” of donations to support greater political diversification via minor parties?

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It’s not just about donations though. It’s about money spent influencing elections. That’s quite a bit more complicated.

The High Court was OK with the NSW and Qld property developer donation ban. They may be less OK with other industries…

There’s an angle we had a rather enjoyable discussion about on Thursday night, which is to require proactive donation disclosure through requiring politicians to wear badges and clothing patches - bigger donation, bigger badge/patch. I still think we should propose this.

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that reminds me of this stunt MEP Nico Semsrott did last year, asking von der Leyen to follow his example:

image


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It’s an interesting idea, but I think there are likely too many unwanted consequences from such a thing. It makes for an incentive to have businesses donate to politicians for advertising purposes. And it encourages a blurring of the line between business and politics. I would much rather businesses strive to be more politically neutral.

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