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Electoral funding Major parties do a deal, others cry 'foul'

#1 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 08:34 AM

Senator John Faulkner says changes to political donation rules don't go far enough

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One of Labor's most respected figures, Senator John Faulkner, has argued against plans to change the laws for disclosing political donations.

The Government has decided it wants to lower the threshold for publicly declaring donations from $12,000 to $5,000, although initially it was pushing for the cut-off to be $1,000.

Senator Faulkner and former caucus chair Daryl Melham told their Labor colleagues in today's caucus meeting that the party should support the larger cut.


One vote, one dollar: Wayne Swan defends backdated funding deal as independents vent anger

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The Federal Government has defended a move to backdate a controversial plan to boost taxpayer funding of political parties.

Under the proposal parties and independent MPs would be paid 33 cents a year - or $1 over the electoral cycle - for every primary vote they receive.

Legislation is due to be introduced to parliament on Thursday with the measure backdated until April 1 - a step that will deliver a $2 million windfall to the major parties ahead of this year's federal election.


Electoral funding bill on hold after angry backlash: Coalition's support in doubt

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The Federal Government has confirmed it will hold off introducing its controversial electoral funding bill, after a public backlash put the Coalition's support on shaky ground.

Legislation was due to be introduced to Parliament today, with the measure backdated until April 1 - a step that would have delivered a $2 million windfall to the major parties ahead of this year's federal election.

Under the proposal, parties and independent MPs would be paid 33 cents a year, equating to $1 over the electoral cycle, for every primary vote they receive.

But Labor has now confirmed the bill will be delayed.


Points on the bill:
  • Funding deal now backdated to April 1 this year
  • Parties and independents will get $1 for every vote they receive at a federal election
  • Cash paid at 33 cents a year over three years for "administrative costs"
  • Cash comes on top of the $2.47 per vote candidates already receive
  • Parties do not have to disclose donations of up to $5,000. Previous threshold had been $12,000
  • Labor had said it would be lowered to $1,000
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#2 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 09:00 AM

I think political donations are in need of more radical reform than the proposed bill.

Declaration of donations to specific parties or candidates should be open and transparent.
  • Donations to individual political parties or candidates over $1000 should be declared.
  • The list of declared donations should be made available within 90 days of the election, not 18 months.

People who are interested in donating anonymously to candidates at elections should have an option that allows them to do so but at the price of not being able to dictate who receive these funds.
  • Create a separate fund for political donations.
  • Donations to this fund are tax deductible.
  • People can make undeclared donations into this fund without limit.
  • After each election, the contents of this fund are divided into two pools.
  • One pool is split evenly amongst all successful candidates based on the number of primary votes they receive.
  • The other pool is split evenly amongst all unsuccessful candidates that receive more than 5% of the vote based on the number of primary votes they receive.
  • The sizes of the pools are adjusted such that the successful candidates receive twice as much per primary vote as unsuccessful candidates.
  • If the candidates are members of registered political parties, the funds are given to the parties instead.
  • After each election, additional money is added to this fund from consolidated revenue such that the amount given per vote is a whole number of cents, but no more.
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This post has been edited by Bam: 30 May 2013 - 09:02 AM

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#3 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 09:24 AM

A worked example of my proposal, using a single seat and a hypothetical fund of $100,000. (I chose the Division of Adelaide because it was the first one alphabetically.)

Division of Adelaide - 2010 election results

WEEDALL, Gemma          Socialist Alliance                 786   0.90 
WESTLEY, Luke           Liberal                         32,673  37.57 *
NEAL, Suzanne Patricia  Family First                     1,900   2.18 
NICHOLLS, Marie         Australian Democrats               819   0.94 
ELLIS, Kate             Australian Labor Party          38,162  43.89 *WIN
STEELE, Christopher     Liberal Democrats (LDP)            716   0.82 
BEACH, Ruth             The Greens                      11,901  13.69 *

* = Eligible to receive funds

Fund = $100,000.00
Eligible votes = 32,673 + 38,162 × 2 + 11,901 = 120,898
Funds per eligible vote = $100,000.00 ÷ 120,898 = 82.7 cents (rounds up to 83 cents)
Top up of fund from consolidated revenue = $0.83 × 120,898 - $100,000 = $345.34
Available fund = $100,345.34
Per share = $0.83

Distribution of funds
WESTLEY, Luke (Liberal)         32,673 × $0.83          $27,118.59
ELLIS, Kate (ALP)               38,162 × $0.83 × 2      $63,348.92
BEACH, Ruth (The Greens)        11,901 × $0.83           $9,877.83
                                                        ==========
Total                                                  $100,345.34
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#4 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 09:36 AM

Tony Abbott declares funding deal dead after going back on deal with Federal Government

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Controversial changes to electoral funding have been killed off by a Coalition decision to renege on an agreement with the Government.

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[T]his morning Opposition Leader Tony Abbott declared that the Coalition has "listened, we've learned and the bill is now dead".

"It's pretty clear the people have spoken and the electoral funding bill is dead," Mr Abbott said.

"I've had further discussions with my colleagues this morning, and the firm view that I've now formed is that this is not the right time for a bill like this, and it simply won't be supported by the Coalition. Not now, not for the foreseeable future."

Looks like Abbott's decision to back out of a deal was the result of a discussion by the faceless men of the Liberal party:

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The ABC understands the the Coalition asked the Government to hold back the bill after an emergency phone hook-up of the Liberal Party's federal executive late yesterday.
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#5 User is offline   icey 

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 10:04 AM

View PostBam, on 30 May 2013 - 09:36 AM, said:

Tony Abbott declares funding deal dead after going back on deal with Federal Government

Looks like Abbott's decision to back out of a deal was the result of a discussion by the faceless men of the Liberal party:



And the voters and at least an independent or two?
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#6 User is offline   Roderick 

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

The Liberals saw that the swill in the trough was too hot to eat just now and that snouts might get burned; they will wait until it cools and then sneak back for a guzzle.
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#7 User is offline   scotto 

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:04 PM

View Posticey, on 30 May 2013 - 10:04 AM, said:

And the voters and at least an independent or two?

Right - like the Libs ever pay any attention to them.
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#8 User is offline   Roderick 

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:13 PM

The Greens were not in favour of public funding but if the trough were to be filled then they were willing to shove their snouts in for a share.

Principal before principle.
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#9 User is offline   icey 

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:54 AM

View Postscotto, on 30 May 2013 - 03:04 PM, said:

Right - like the Libs ever pay any attention to them.


My point was that it took more than the coalition to undo the best laid plans. I guess the they could have taken a stance with the shift in position, but there had been talk of "cartel and collusion behaviour’’ by a couple of amigoes with further dissent from Wilkie.

Government plans stuffed, and all they can do is cry ...... Abbott! Abbott! Abbott! :emot-roflolmao:
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#10 User is offline   icey 

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:55 AM

View PostRoderick, on 30 May 2013 - 03:13 PM, said:

The Greens were not in favour of public funding but if the trough were to be filled then they were willing to shove their snouts in for a share.

Principal before principle.


Unlike Wilkie who (if I recall) said he'd not be dining.
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#11 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 07:19 AM

View Posticey, on 31 May 2013 - 12:54 AM, said:

My point was that it took more than the coalition to undo the best laid plans.

Indeed, it was Senator Faulkner of the the ALP who was the first to raise concerns.

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Government plans stuffed, and all they can do is cry ...... Abbott! :emot-roflolmao:

This was a deal done between the ALP and the Coalition. Bipartisan plans. Which the Coalition, in a typical display of their integrity, then renege on the signed deal. If there was a problem with the plans, why didn't either side see it earlier?

Oh wait. The backbenchers in the ALP did. This allowed the details to become known to the public and independents, the public and independents didn't like it and so the legislation was withdrawn.

The real reason why the Coalition didn't like the deal though isn't to do with the funding. It's the lowering of the disclosure threshold on political donations. The Coalition are in favour of secrecy (they originally rammed through the higher threshold and have blocked every attempt since to lower it) and gleefully jumped on the chance to kill off this provision so they can continue to receive large, secret donations.
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#12 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 07:30 AM

The electoral laws are in need of reforms:
  • Donations to state branches of political parties should be considered the same as donations to the federal party. It should not be possible to split donations into nine smaller amounts to dodge the threshold.
  • The disclosure threshold must be lowered. This can be achieved by lowering the actual threshold, combining the jurisdictions as noted above, or a combination of the two.
  • Donations from foreign sources must be banned. Australia is one of the few jurisdictions that still allows this.
  • The identity of donors shouldn't be kept secret for 18 months. Why is it necessary to wait for so long?
  • The state and federal electoral laws must be made more consistent. For example, Victoria now has automatic enrolment for teenagers who turn 18 yet such teenagers must still complete the paperwork for Federal enrolment.
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#13 User is offline   icey 

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 09:59 AM

View PostBam, on 31 May 2013 - 07:19 AM, said:

This was a deal done between the ALP and the Coalition.



The government (this being the ones in charge) could not make it happen. Period.

That the Libs may be interested in the trough as well as the Greens etc is another point which I readily concede.
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#14 User is offline   Roderick 

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:44 AM

I have a radical idea: Ban all political donations to all parties.

Let the members of the parties fund their party by their membership fees, which could be set at $100 max. and by fund raising activities, cake stalls etc.
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