Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Election funding: repealed

According to the daily progress in the House, the Electoral Amendment Bill was passed earlier this evening, meaning the EFA will no longer be law as of 1 March. So, having been caught using sock puppets to circumvent the spending limits, the right has... relegalised using sock puppets to circumvent election spending limits. But don't worry - they've retained the more transparent donation regime; the fact that they will simply direct donors to non-transparent, unaccountable third-parties to run Brethren-style anonymous smear campaigns is never mentioned.

This is a disaster for our democracy, and it shifts power from the ballot box (where it belongs) to the banker's trust fund (where it does not). Shifting the regime back towards greater transparency on all participants, including "third parties", and preventing sock-puppet campaigns should be among the first acts of any future left-wing government. But with the right now free to buy elections by the backdoor, that may be rather difficult.