Millionaire contributions to political parties or candidates in Australian elections

Millionaire contributions to political parties or candidates in Australian elections

In the last electoral appointment in Australia -May 2022- there were countedmillionaire portations political parties or independent candidates and, according to an essay by a legal expert, the system is riddled with catastrophic consequences in the parliamentary regime.

Clive Palmermining magnate and chief executive of the Mineralogy company, contributed 117 million dollars in the last general election in his attempt to win several seats in the federal parliament for his political formation, the United Australian Party. However, despite his insistence for more than six months through advertising messages and conservative and progressive media, he only managed to get candidate Ralph Babet elected in the state of Victoria in the senatorial chamber.

Looking at other political parties, journalist David Crow, attached to the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne morning paper The Agehighlights that in the last electoral appointment of last year, corporations and business leaders bet heavily on the Labor Party with donations above $124 million. In addition, and as usual in other elections, the unions made juicy concessions in their attempt to give the conservative coalition a romp.

On the opposite side of the board, the concessions to the parties of the opposition were from 106 million compared to the 165 million they raised in the 2019 elections. It was around this time that then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison wrested the leadership from his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull.

Looking back, in 2017, Turnbull was not without controversy when, as chief executive, he made a donation of almost two million dollars to finance his electoral campaign. Responding to questions on ABC’s national network, he said “that Australians They were more interested in what they do with their own money than what I do with mine.“. The leader of the Opposition of the labor party in response to the testimony of the then leader of the Executive stated “that the words were clearly shocking.”

political donations

Is it possible to make unlimited concessions to candidates for the federal parliament? This same question is asked by the lawyer Cal Viney. In his essay in the media, he points out that in a parliamentary democracy where the base that guides us is “one person, one vote”, the answer would undoubtedly be negative.

In his thesis, Viney, who in addition to being a lawyer has been an adviser to the State Premier of Victoria on matters of legislation on donations, added that the anti-corruption commissions have shown that, according to the current situation, the phenomenon that is currently called big money. Or, in other words, loads of money that can ultimately have a great impact on our parliaments. As a singular fact, he cites the Australian Electoral Commission when in the financial year of 2018-2019, political parties of great importance and others of lesser projection made million-dollar concessions by entities and individuals.

Finally, Viney is full of praise about the modus operandi of the politicians who govern in the win state, where seriousness and good work prevail. In an attempt to control corporations and businessmen, they fixed concessions with a ceiling of 1080 dollars Australians.

Promises from Australia’s Prime Minister

The head of the executive branch of the Federal government, Anthony Albaneseshortly after seizing leadership from Scott Morrisonmade the public understand that they were coming new times of doing politics. However, after almost a year in power still remains to be seen whether the Anti-Corruption Commission in charge of resolving the dispute has made any progress to avoid million-dollar donations.

Alice Drury, acting director of the Human Rights Institution, said that every year multimillion-dollar concessions are made public, but -paradoxically- without the public being aware. This situation, stressed the spokesperson for the Institution, is repeated without ceasing through the audit of profits.

Finally, the director placed particular emphasis on the fact that it was absolutely necessary for the government to legislate as soon as possible on the concession caps or donations.

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Written by Editor TLN

Interview with Professor Mariana Mazzucato, within the framework of the 2023 Regional Water Dialogues organized by ECLAC

participation exceeded 80 percent

participation exceeded 80 percent