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The Forum > Article Comments > High Court excels in McCloy's case > Comments

High Court excels in McCloy's case : Comments

By Max Atkinson, published 12/2/2016

This is, in fact, the US position - so long as there is no actual 'corruption', donations cannot be banned or capped.

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Sometimes the law is an ass, but only because the folks charged with interpreting it are asses?

This judgement is like saying, it's okay to drive on the wrong side of the road, always providing you don't have a head on collision with another vehicle?

America has the finest democracy money can buy, and given such rulings,will soon see a situation where special interest with enough money can buy the presidency, or enough seats on capitol hill to completely undermine legitimately elected governments?

Free speech has absolutely nothing to do with covert donations or donations large enough to corrupt? But rather completely gagging it!?

Given the cost today of elections, human nature and the political imperative to win, of course those who want to win, will surely sell their souls, their integrity, the rights of the electorate, for a highly coveted seat!

The only people who can put an end to this rubbish are the usually apathetic American voters.

They need to just get up off of their lazy fat asses and come out, stand in line for as long as it takes and vote, and not for the man with the largest cheque book or wealthiest sponsors, but rather the ones with the policies that will recreate America as the world's premier inherently fair and egalitarian power.

I mean what follows this sort of asinine decision? Uncapped Putin or mafia completely covert political donations?

Simply put, aliases and all sorts of other impenetrable schemes can hide who's giving what, to whom and for what?

Wealthy folks just don't give away millions, but buy something with it?

A bigger farm bill, blocked imports that allow local profiteers to continue to price gouge etc?

Arguably the only way to prevent almost certain corruption is to limit the size of individual donations, and make sure and certain that a bon fide person transparently donates rather than amorphous corporations!

What do you want to create with the privilege and duty to vote?

A new America reminiscent of post war America, a new deal and unprecedented prosperity, or ?

Posted by Rhrosty, Friday, 12 February 2016 8:30:01 AM
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"The Australian political process also has serious defects. We suffer from weak electoral funding laws, a dysfunctional Senate election system, the distorting role of lobbyists, a print media largely dominated by one owner and other flaws. But there have been no legal barriers to the reforms needed to protect the nation from going down the US path; in the absence of a bill of rights there was no protection of free speech upon which to hang a similar claim to privilege big money and devalue the votes of ordinary citizens."

Well, only some of that is true, and some of the rest is ill-informed.

Why mention Murdoch's alleged "dominance of the print media" without mentioning the greasy, PC-Left, domination of the ABC, the biggest
media organisation in Australia by far, which routinely breaches its legal obligation to be impartial? Why not mention the access which almost everybody has to blog comments and such sites as OLO, all of which dilute the power of mainstream media?

And "the distorting role of lobbyists" is undefined, unexplained and invalid. Lobbying is an effective process to communicate with government (and opposition) and it is open to anyone with credibility to pursue that course, regardless which side of an argument he or she might be on.
Posted by calwest, Friday, 12 February 2016 10:16:57 AM
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I hereby register my objection to all three of calwest's points.

It takes much more than an affirmation to conclude that (a) the ABC is leftist, (b)Ditto, that ABC is in breach of its charter.

The distorting role of lobbyists is evidenced by the fact that big business chooses to invest very significantly in the lobbying process, by every available means. Surely hundreds of millions of dollars annually can't all be wrong! If it was merely a waste of the shareholders' money, then the smart business decision would be to not engage lobbyists. As with so many things, the money tells the story.

Re Murdoch's dominance of the media, that has been demonstrated so many times that it is beyond dispute, except by the unhinged who group to the right of Murdoch himself.
Posted by JohnBennetts, Friday, 12 February 2016 1:09:58 PM
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John Bennetts,

Only a Left wing fool would try to pretend that the ABC is not Left wing and that it provides balanced news coverage and commentary. The latest example, of course, for which the ABC has half apologised, is the repeated and extensive promotion of the "rape" of a five year old boy who does not exist. Then there were the series of lies published as "news", relating to naval personnel "torturing" illegal immigrants at sea.

The ABC is clearly in breach of its charter, which requires, by legislation, objectivity and balance: there is rarely a pretence of balance on Q&A, for example, which usually amounts to a series of Left wing "gotcha" stunts by Jones and co. The ABC is balanced only insofar as it represents the full range of opinions from Left to Green/Left.

Let's take a look at a few of their key presenters, so that you can explain why they are NOT left wing advocates: Fran "I'm an activist" Kelly, Jon Faine, Tony Jones, Waleed Aly and the usual selection of third rate academic interviewees.

Finally, to lobbying, of which you clearly know nothing.

Large corporations do spend a lot of money on lobbying. A lot of that is wasted. What you fail to understand is that many other smaller business organisations, charities and industry groups also lobby both government and opposition and the cross-bench. And they are often very effective: some of the key recommendations in the Harper review of competition policy, for example, reflect the lobbying and perspectives of small business and were accepted by the former Abbott government minister for small business, Bruce Billson.
Posted by calwest, Friday, 12 February 2016 1:48:57 PM
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