Thursday, July 26, 2007

Why they gutted it

Why did the government effectively gut its Electoral Finance Bill and allow the current practice of parties receiving large anonymous and laundered donations to continue? Prime Minister Helen Clark gave an answer in Question Time yesterday:

it is quite clear that the absolute banning of anonymous donations would have to be accompanied by more public funding, because otherwise there are political parties, I would suggest, across the spectrum that would simply be unable to raise money.

So, if we force large anonymous donors to tell us who they are so we can judge whether they are trying to buy influence, they won't donate. I'd have thought that immediately draws their motives into question and is an excellent reason for greater disclosure.

As for why Labour thinks this is a problem, it is worth remembering that they received $315,000 in anonymous funding in the lead-up to the last election - a third of their total. They're as corrupt and addicted to money as National.