Simon Corbell has announced efforts to reform our electoral process.
For some reason this reminded me of the words of US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan:
When Dr. Johnson declared “patriotism” to be the last refuge of a scoundrel, he underestimated the potential of “reform”.
Certainly looking at what Simon is proposing it becomes clear these changes will make it harder for high profile independents to crack a seat while party machines fielding full slates of candidates will be able to spread significant amounts of love around:
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“In the lead up to an election, candidates, lobbyists, unions and associated players would be limited to spending $60,000 each on their campaign, while a cap on donations from any one donor would be set at $10,000 in a financial year,” he said.
“Under the proposed reform, electoral expenditure will include advertising spend and the financing of opinion polls, as well as “gifts? including fundraising contributions of more than $250, and services provided other than volunteer labour.”
Mr Corbell said the proposed caps achieved an appropriate balance between the need for transparency, and resourcing candidates and organisations to engage in political activity.
The Bill also proposes changes to the level of public funding candidates receive according to the level of votes received.
It further proposes the establishment of an administrative funding regime for political parties similar to those in place in New South Wales and Queensland.