Democracy 4 Sale – Whos Donating to Politicians?

Which industries and large corporations have been lining the pockets of the major political parties in Australia in the past year?

You can find out who the big donors to Labor and the Coalition were in the last year at the website

I believe that until these donations are reformed, governments will continue to make decisions that favour big business over communities.

At the very least donations to political parties should be published more often as is the case in the United Kingdom, not once a year like in Australia

3 Replies to “Democracy 4 Sale – Whos Donating to Politicians?”

  1. The Howard Liberal/National coalition government has recently abused its Senate majority by pushing through new electoral laws. Now the electoral rolls will close the day an election is called, denying hundreds of thousands of people the right to enrol or change their details. Young people and new migrants will be particularly disenfranchised. Prisoners have had their right to vote removed and the homeless will find it harder to vote with new identification requirements.

    The Government and Labor will benefit from changes to the donation threshold allowing up to $10,000 to be donated in secret to a political party. This would allow a company that donates to each branch of a party to give $90,000 and avoid the current requirement to disclose.

    In a speech to Parliament greens Senator Kerry Nettle said “It is a blatant attack on some of the most disadvantaged members of our community, and it is also a blatant manipulation of the electoral system by the Liberal government.”

    Follow the money trail:

  2. A small private company claims to be the sole source of a $370,000 campaign supporting the Howard Government at the last federal election. David Marr reports.

    The Exclusive Brethren denies masterminding the campaign despite all the aggressive ads and pamphlets being authorised by members of the sect. After complaints by the Greens leader, Bob Brown, the Electoral Commission began a year-long investigation into the source of the funding. Just before Christmas the commission announced Mackenzie’s company, Willmac Enterprises Pty Ltd, was the campaign’s sole paymaster.

    Mackenzie’s little company, Willmac Enterprises, was incorporated three weeks before the 2004 election with Mackenzie as the sole shareholder and only director. Despite having capital of only $10, it almost immediately found a small fortune to pay for pro-Howard ads in the Adelaide Advertiser, the Hobart Mercury, suburban papers through the Adelaide Hills, and in John Howard’s electorate of Bennelong.

    Willmac also paid for the printing and distribution of a pamphlet bitterly resented by the Greens in Tasmania. Turning up in most letterboxes in the island state during the final weeks of the 2004 campaign, the Green Delusion leaflet was the only electoral material that actually carried Mackenzie’s name. The fine print read: “Authorised by M. William Mackenzie, 11 Baden Powell Place, North Rocks, NSW, 2101.”

    Excerpt from article Where art thou, Brethren? by David Marr SMH

    Related articles include:
    Sect’s election attack ads billed to Liberal Party (News Corporation)

    AEC Must Reopen Exclusive Brethren Investigation (ALP website)

    Exclusive Brethren, Libs deny election ad deal (ABC News)

    Invoices link sect to Liberals (The Age)

  3. The secrecy and inequality that attends political donations is hardly exceptional. Secrecy is also a hallmark of political spending and the use of parliamentary entitlements and government resources. Not only does the distribution of private funds favour the Coalition and ALP, so do election funding, parliamentary entitlements and public resources such as government advertising.

    This is perhaps what Australia’s “great democracy” amounts to. It is a secret system that hinders informed voter decisions and impairs public accountability. Corruption and undue influence lie in the wake of such secrecy. It is a skewed system with institutional rules designed to protect the joint interests of the major parties by arming them with far greater war chests than minor parties and new competitors.

    – excerpt from SMH article Our democracy encourages corruption and undue influence

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