Dark money – a radical plan to stop ‘governments for rent’

Former Liberal Party Treasurer, Michael Yabsley, is proposing caps of $200 in political donations, caps on expenditure and removal of all public funding of elections, forcing parties to ‘regrow their links with community’, saying ‘It’s a bad culture, a flawed culture and I have been part of it.’

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Here’s the plan:

  • A $200 cap on political donations per individual, covering the entire electoral cycle in each jurisdiction
  • A cap on election expenditure, including advertising
  • Only enrolled Australian citizens permitted to make donations
  • All donations to be anonymous and non-disclosable, as their small size would remove the case for disclosure
  • No other entities, corporations, unions or organisations to be permitted to make donations
  • All public funding of elections to be removed
  • Laws to be enforced with criminal sanctions carrying custodial sentences, including targeting the aggregation of small donations into significantly larger donations
  • National uniform donation laws across all states and territories
  • Electoral commissions to police laws and review caps
  • A bespoke federal/state body to develop a program of election debates and set media pieces during election campaigns.

These measures would put an end to the corrupting influence of big donors buying influence and stop the obscene waste of money spent on elections. 

It would be more democratic too. 

Those in power have numerous ways of advantaging themselves – the 4% threshold for public funding is a case in point. 

Does anyone believe the current major parties should have an ongoing monopoly on power? Dissatisfaction with political parties is at an all-time high. What’s needed is fresh thinking, new players and acting in good faith based on evidence. Time to put the interests of the nation first.  

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