11 May 2012

Electoral reform of a sort

| johnboy
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By all accounts last night in the Legislative Assembly was be all accounts bad tempered as the electoral laws were given a going over.

In the cold light of day Simon Corbell has announced what he thinks was passed.

Key features of the Electoral Amendment Bill 2012 include:

— A limit of $60,000 per candidate on expenditure per candidate in a political party;
— A limit on donations of $10,000 per donor, per financial year, for the purposes of ACT election campaigning; and,
— Strengthening the definition of “gift” to ensure that payments of over $250 at fundraising events are considered to be gifts, thereby closing a loophole that allowed large amounts of money collected at fundraising dinners to be classed as payments for services.

Canberra’s media outlets (RiotACT included) do not approve in any way of limited candidate spends.

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Im struggling to see the problem here.

From how I understand it, each pollie in a party, has a limit of 60k. I havent seen any mention of independants?

This means at the moment, the parties are allowed to spend around $400k each, almost as much as a new piece of public art.

In comparison, in the US presidential elections, there are suggestions that Obama’s election campaign this year will cost in excess of $1 billion.. Id prefer we have a smaller budget campaign than having our politicians accepting cash bribes from every sector before the election, then after the election, having to make politically smart decisions for all their donors interests.

Maybe with a smaller budget, they might focus on telling us about the things that actually matter and use some smarter more cost efficient methods of communication.

I’m not terribly fussed about the welfare of media outlets generally (though I would miss RA), but this is incredibly short-sighted, even for politicians, and worse still, it exacerbates the problem of having a political duopoly.

This is entirely hypocritical of the Labor party, too, since they seem to have a problem with a supermarket duopoly, when all Colesworths trade in is groceries. Political parties by contrast trade in ideas, and a political duopoly, especially one as lacking in diversity as the Laboral Party, entirely eliminates the possibility of intelligent and worthwhile political debate; a far more sinister evil than the coopetition in Colesworths.

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