~ This might be the best chance we’ve had in decades to get big donations from vested interests out of Australian politics. Add your voice to the campaign: https://www.getup.org.au/political-donations
In today’s news, Liberal Party Minister Christopher Pyne took us by surprise by calling for a ban on all political donations from corporations and thid-party entities.
Tiptoeing away from the party line, Pyne told the ABC: “I think all donations should be banned other than from individual Australians”.1
This might be the first time such a prominent Liberal Minister has opened the door to cleaning up political donations. It’s a good start, but not nearly enough. Let’s add our voices to the call for reform. If we can show huge public support now, we can continue the debate about reform, and convince more politicians to get on board:
Cleaning up our democracy will take more than just a ban on corporate and third-party donations, as Minister Pyne proposes.
Last year, the largest individual political donation came from the Packer family, who donated $580,000 to the Liberal Party.2 Whether with bottles of expensive wine, or large cash donations, the ongoing NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hearings have shown clearly that wealthy individuals try to use donations to gain influence on behalf of their companies.
That’s why it’s so important caps are also placed on individual donations – preventing big money from buying undue influence and drowning out everyone else’s voice.
It’s a brave and unusual move for any politician to suggest banning corporate donations. But as loud as he can be, Pyne alone won’t be loud enough to drown out the powerful vested interests looking to buy influence.
Without public support, Pyne’s comments could easily become yesterday’s news, so let’s add our voice to the call for reform, and ask all MPs to get behind it. Sign the petition, and then ask your local MP: will you support getting big money out of politics?
This issue has never been hotter.
Just today it was reported that Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, is the most recent figure to find himself in hot water for “offering privileged access to a select group of people including business people and industry lobbyists in return for tens of thousands of dollars in donations to the Liberal Party”.3 Nearly all political parties use similar fundraising tactics in our current system, they’re left behind if they don’t. Today’s news is just the latest in a string of revelations about vested interest using donations to influence both major parties, as the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption investigates party fundraising bodies.
As Fairfax’s chief political correspondent, Mark Kenny, puts it:
“Nobody is suggesting Joe Hockey is corrupt. But it is increasingly clear the Treasurer is party to a process that is corrupting Australia’s democratic integrity… political representation increasingly turns on how much cash you have, and where you are prepared to direct it”.4
It’s time to change the rules. Sign the petition calling on both major parties to get behind reforms to keep big money out of politics:
Thanks for your support,
the GetUp team