Feb 15, 2016

Mayne: can Cormann (and Stuart Robert) fix our broken campaign finance system?

As a previous advocate of campaign finance reform, it shouldn’t take much to get Turnbull over the line.

Stephen Mayne — Journalist and Founder

Stephen Mayne

Journalist and Founder

When the February 1 donations dump landed two weeks ago today, I optimistically predicted in Crikey that the stars were aligning for some long-overdue campaign finance reform in Australia.


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10 thoughts on “Mayne: can Cormann (and Stuart Robert) fix our broken campaign finance system?

  1. Norman Hanscombe

    It’s not unexpected, of course, to find there’s no more interest at Crikey than there is among the Capitalist colleagues in genuine reform, so it’s scant wonder so many of your loyal camp followers haven’t been sure how to respond on this thread, is it.

  2. AnisaS

    …the words ‘fox’ and ‘henhouse’ spring to mind.

  3. Dogs breakfast

    Given that we have these computey-type thingies, I don’t expect it would be overly difficult to produce donations data on a regular basis, let’s say 3 months in arrears, just in case there are people there who will need training to find the on-button on their black box screen thingies.

    Then we can look at publishing Ministerial diaries, noting attendees, purpose of meeting ( a pithy one-liner would be more than sufficient), and to help them get their affairs in order, let’s say that could be two weeks in arrears.

    We could even employ computer guys to set it up for them. The only excuse for non-recording of meetings would be ‘national security’. Meetings with political colleagues can all be settled under the heading ‘parliamentary or party business’. I’m not asking them to give up their secrets.

    But no lobbyist or head of a corporate body should ever be able to meet a Minister without the meeting being scheduled and a one-liner at least on discussion topics.

    That might make question time interesting, and government accountable.

  4. Alan

    Does crikey provide Norman Hanscombe an advance copy of the daily articles, so that he many comment on everything first?

  5. Norman Hanscombe

    It’s merely, Alan, that there are so many other subscribers who don’t comment until they can do so on their Office Computers where it doesn’t interfere with their leisure time. This is especially true on Mondays when they’re arriving after a VERY long weekend.

  6. AR

    As much as it may be desirable, we cannot effectively legislate for political finance probity.
    It will simply become (more)opaque & covert.
    As Brekky notes, those computer thingies are vital for at least making the less underground stuff visible.
    Honesty? That’s just cog.dis. as we are talking about politics.
    The only honest politician is one who stays bought.

  7. drsmithy

    As much as it may be desirable, we cannot effectively legislate for political finance probity.
    It will simply become (more)opaque & covert.

    We can if we’re serious.

    An independent watchdog, gaol time for both donors and recipients, and subsequent stripping of all Government pensions and other entitlements for recipients would set the tone appropriately. Make it not worth taking a bribe for *both* sides of the equation, and bribes will not be taken by all but the craziest and most corrupt.

    Politicians should also be prevented from taking any private-industry work related to their portfolios after they cease being politicians, as well, for at least one full election cycle.

    Normally I am not a fan of using extreme punishment to try and deter crime, but it is the only way to deal with non-violent psychopaths.

  8. Norman Hanscombe

    The real problem is as you suggest, drsmithy, that there are too many vested interests which make reform difficult, and this isn’t of course restricted to the actions of elected Politicians and/or Political Party bureaucracies.

  9. Peggy Sanders

    What a terrible joke these corrupt neoliberals are.

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