Just the kind of Bill we need here

As revelations of Labour’s renewed support of its affiliate, the Maritime Union break, we can see exactly how we should be addressing the vexed issue of big corporate donors, affiliate membership and political parties from New South Wales. I support campaign reform and have it apply equally to corporates and unions. basically only natural persons can donate or belong to political parties.

The solution in NSW though is being fought hard by Labor and their union pals, right through the courts. I wonder why that is?

A bill proposing to ban political donations from corporations in NSW risks being struck down in the High Court as unconstitutional and should be amended to allow unions and community groups to conduct political advertising, a parliamentary committee has found.

The Premier, Barry O’Farrell, introduced the bill to restrict political donations to individuals in Parliament, but it is stalled in the upper house due to opposition from Labor, the Greens and the Shooters and Fishers Party.

The parties used their numbers in the upper house in November to set up an inquiry, chaired by Greens MP John Kaye, which was held last month.

Publishing its report today, the committee that conducted the inquiry has recommended that the laws be passed but only with certain amendments.

The report calls for changes to allow unions to maintain their own electoral advertising spending cap if the advertising does not directly advocate a vote for a political party.

As it stands, the bill would force union spending to be counted against a cap imposed on the Labor Party, potentially restricting the amount the party can spend.

The report also makes a recommendation to alter a proposal in the bill that would ban affiliation fees being paid to political parties.

The provision would particularly hurt NSW Labor, which raises more than $1 million annually from affiliated unions.

Rather than banning affiliation fees, the committee recommends capping them “to a very modest level, which is equal to or not greater than the administration costs imposed on the party by the affiliation” and only with the permission of the members of the affiliated party or union.


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  • NotLen

    Isn’t a political party a group of like minded people who get together to form a “club” which they hope enough people also agree with when it comes time to vote?

    This group uses various means to tell their potential supporters that they exist and that if they got into power, what they would do for them.

    If they use their own money, or the money that like-minded people give them, I have no problem with how much they spend or where they get it from.

    Where I do have a problem is when they expect all of us (the taxpayer via Parliamentary Services) to pay for them to tell us how we should vote.  Its just wrong and not democracy.