Monday, June 27, 2022

Two steps forward, one step back

The government is finally moving to improve transparency over party finances, lowering the donation disclosure threshold to $5,000. This is a good move, though it doesn't go as far as it should. And of course, there's a nasty twist:

The rules for larger donations are also changing. Presently parties must report all donations from a single donor that exceed $30,000 within 10 working days of receipt. Now the threshold will reduce to $20,000 – but these donations only have to be declared within 10 days during an election year.
...which means that in two years out of three, we won't be able to quickly see who is attempting to buy our political parties, instead learning about it after the policies have already been sold. This is a significant backwards step, despite the lowering of the trigger point, and its absolutely tone-deaf when the public has been consistently demanding more transparency. Heckuva job, guys. If you wanted to give the impression of a corrupt party with something dirty to hide, you're going the right way about it.

(If you want to see who's been buying our politicians recently, you can just look here).