“I wish we had someone who had a lazy million dollars sitting in the corner that could just plonk into the campaign,” said Anthony Albanese to the news that Malcolm Turnbull helped out the federal Liberal Party to the tune of $1 million during the campaign.
Indeed, Albo. It looks a lot like Turnbull has bought himself a prime ministership (though his $1 million purchased the barest of majorities; maybe Mal should have stumped up a little more?). So much for his talk of mandates and clear majorities — the man with the deepest pockets wins.
But what is most galling about the revelation is that it is a revelation at all. Australia’s absurd donations laws mean that had The Australian‘s Sharri Markson not got wind of the story, we wouldn’t know for another six months. And some disclosures take more than a year to be reported, depending on when they are made.
This is absurd. Australians deserve to know, in real time, who is donating to whom and why. A sitting Prime Minister using his own considerable personal wealth to help out a Liberal Party on the run from Labor’s highly successful Mediscare campaign should be public knowledge as soon as it happens. Anything less than full and immediate disclosure is obfuscation and a blight upon our so-called open democracy.