Speaking of Bernardi, before he gets too stroppy about a Chinese donor paying Labor Senator Sam Dastyari’s travel bills, whom do we have to thank for foreign donors being able to donate to Australian politicians? Why, the Coalition, which combined with Steve Fielding in March 2009 voted down Labor’s proposal to ban foreign donations. This morning, Bernardi led the charge against Dastyari, condemning him for accepting money from “a company with strong links to a foreign country”. Said the Senator: “I make no bones about it. I have been on the record for years saying we need donation reform. We need donation reform, and we need to start to think about how the influence of hospitality, donations to individuals, are influencing parliamentary behaviour.”

What a shame that Bernardi didn’t take the opportunity to object to foreign donations when he had the chance back in 2009. Here is a list of who voted how on that bill:


If he had crossed the floor back then and backed Labor’s ban, the bill would have passed and the whole question of foreign donations, which plagues both sides of politics, would be history.