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The Forum > Article Comments > Donations, bribery and corruption > Comments

Donations, bribery and corruption : Comments

By Geoff Wall, published 21/11/2008

NSW Premier Nathan Reesí decision to defer a bipartisan commitment to political donations reform may be a golden opportunity lost.

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Perhaps a way to distance decision makers from donors would be for all donations to be made anonymously to a special bank account for a relevant party or candidate.
The banks would be required to keep confidential the names of depositors; funds would accrue to the payee.
This would ensure that individuals, unions or organisations with a political preference for an electoral outcome would not be denied the opportunity to fund a candidate, yet would be sheilded from the overt influence of huge donors. The power of bribery would be removed, as the recipients would have no way of knowing how much was donated and by whom.
Posted by Ponder, Friday, 21 November 2008 10:41:43 AM
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Ponder's idea should be pondered. However, the problem is not only political donations but also the way political campaigns are waged. Political advertising does not in general discuss issues but is based on emotional appeals and slurs of the opponents wisdom, honour and competence.

In Norway political advertising is banned. Candidates must face each in TV debates with no moderator interjecting questions. Lincoln and Douglas once went from Illinois town to town in the 1858 senatorial election debating in such a fashion. The eventual result was an outstanding president as Lincoln became respected because of those debates and was elected president in 1860.
Posted by david f, Friday, 21 November 2008 4:03:16 PM
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or we could try actual democracy.

" taxation is theft " is actually true: it began as looting, became regularized in society as the invading army decided to stay and milk the cow rather than butcher it. differential taxation grew when it became necessary to placate some sectors of society at the expense of others. these tax 'favors' are the reciprocal of campaign 'donations'.

in short, british society was born crooked, and will likely stay crooked as long as the people accept the two-tier class system they inherited from hastings.

a special class, 'parliamentarians', has special powers over the rest of society. they are the dispensers of favors by right of power. they will be bribed, on way or another. the only cure is democracy.

when ordinary people direct the activities of society, they are difficult to bribe. they are too many, and it must be done in public. consequently, law and justice have a chance to prevail, corruption withers in daylight. why would a nation not want democracy?
Posted by bill broome, Saturday, 22 November 2008 6:09:09 AM
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A simple intermediate step would be to declare and publish the source of all the donations.

Opposition parties could then cross reference them with political decisions.
Posted by Democritus, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 6:27:28 PM
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Why would this corrupt NSW government do that

apart from the developers

how about the Unions, Unions spend millions to elect the NSW Labor, who then drive our state broke by employing too many public servants, these people donate back to the ALP

Unions donate to the federal ALP, viola, the ALP gives us union friendly law, almost forcing people to joint unions, that is how the ALP prospers. So why would they wants to declare all their donations
Posted by dovif2, Wednesday, 26 November 2008 7:47:56 AM
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