Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dunne on the Electoral Finance Bill

Peter Dunne on the United Future website comments on the Electoral Finance Bill.
The premise on which the Bill is based is actually that while everyone or group has an absolute right to express their political views, including the Brethren or any other fringe group, the voting public has a right to know who they are, and that those groups in turn cannot conspire with political parties or candidates to thwart the campaign expenditure

He should consider this. Briefly, If someone is motivated to make 20 $1,000 anonymous donations over time, and the party takes the money, the electoral commission won't even learn about the donations, let alone have them count as part of the $240,000 cap. The Electoral Commission and the public will have no who has donated what.

Also, one can can receive not only up to $30,000 over three years [Clause 22A(1)(b)] in undisclosed donations from a donor, plus they can give $36,000 anonymously [Clause 28C(3)] through the Electoral Commission. This is because the law allows for both undisclosed donations and anonymous donations. So United Future is saying that $66,000 can be donated to a party without the identity being known, while stating that the public has a right to know who they are if they are expressing their political dview point via donations.

Thats called double speak. If Dunne was doing his job on the select comittee he could have suggested a different limit on anonymous donations as wel as stating that a person can not make multiple anonymous donations. Dunne didnt want to do that, perhapos because it would upset Labour, who can het these anonymous donations they desperately need.

And, as I have said before, the Exclusive Brethren's "secret seven" can each register as third parties meaning they can collectively spend $840,000 - although they cant conspire. However they can run joint ads for a total of $840,000 - the EFB in Clause 105A(3) allows for ads to be apportioned between third parties.




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