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NRT: A disease the world over

Written By: - Date published: 10:08 am, May 9th, 2014 - 30 comments
Categories: australian politics, corruption, International, uk politics - Tags:

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn looks at the Australian and UK problems with cash-for-access to ministers.

New Zealand isn’t the only place currently seeing a cash-for-access scandal. In Australia, the federal Treasurer has a similar arrangement to the National Party, selling access to a donors by membership of a “club”. And in the UK, the co-treasurer of the Conservative Party has said publicly that £250,000 gets you a private dinner with the Prime Minister and been forced to reveal who has bought access. And the reaction is the same as well: revulsion from the public, incomprehension at why we consider it a big deal from the politicians and their club of insiders. For them, big payoffs and influence peddling are normal and vital sustenance for their political machines. Intestinal parasites no doubt feel the same way about the flow of shit which surrounds them. But to an outsider, both are repulsive.

As for the solution, the New South Wales opposition has just introduced a bill requiring MPs to make monthly declarations of their financial interests (including spouses and dependants) and Ministers to declare every meeting, phone call, or other interaction where financial decisions are involved. That’s not enough – as we’re seeing in NZ, its not just money donors are after, but its a start. Ultimately though if we want to end this corrupt culture, we need to cut donors and their money out of the loop entirely, and that means public funding for political parties. Anything less, and we’re simply letting corruption continue.

30 comments on “NRT: A disease the world over ”

  1. Puckish Rogue 1

    Public funding is not the answer. I don’t want the Greens anywhere near parliament (fortunately neither does Labour but still) so why would I want tax payers money go towards their re-election.

    If the message that parties are selling isn’t inspiring people to donate then the problem is with the message.

    The problem I see with public funding is that as soon as a party from the left gets in there’ll be changes to the funding and then when National gets back in there’ll be more changes and so on and so on

    More transperancy towards daonations absolutely but public funding no

    • RedLogix 1.1

      I don’t want National anywhere near Parliament – but I’d still prefer some form of publically managed funding to the vile rorts and backhanders the Tories are making an art-form of at present.

      • Puckish Rogue 1.1.1

        If the left were better at it then there wouldn’t be any complaining, up your game rather then trying to rort more out of the public

        [lprent: I view the use of simple slogans and aphorisms as a troll marker. Your recent over-use of them is being observed. I’d suggest that you start turning your brain on. It may only be the human equivalent of a ARM7, but I’m sure that you can squeeze some imagination out of it. ]

        • Puckish Rogue 1.1.1.1

          My point is fairly simple, the Left arn’t as good as the right at raising money so the left want the public to pay

          If the left could raise some decent money then we wouldn’t be having this situation and I really don’t want to see this happen as it’ll turn into an epic political football eg

          The left raise the amount and the right will say its buying the election with tax payers money

          The right lower the amount and the left will say its stopping democracy

          • framu 1.1.1.1.1

            how do you feel about the voucher funding concept

            every voter gets x dollars to donate to the party of their choice?

            the issue of disparity in resources is a big part of the issue, and just saying “well if you could raise some decent money” doesnt address the problem of a small group with vast resources being able to have an influence greater than a bigger group with less resources

            its as much about this as it is about where the money comes from

            • Puckish Rogue 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Yet somehow Labour still manage to get into power and are only one or two seats away from forming the next government

              “how do you feel about the voucher funding concept

              every voter gets x dollars to donate to the party of their choice?”

              If its their own money then fine

              • Lanthanide

                If its their own money then fine

                So you completely and utterly missed framu’s point.

                In fact we already have the situation where voters can give their own money to the party of their choice, so really you must be pretty braindead if you thought framu was just suggesting the status quo.

              • framu

                thats not the point

                why should a small group with vast resources being able to have an influence greater than a bigger group with less resources?

                “If its their own money then fine” – again – thats not the point. There are massive holes in the idea, and your really just arguing for the status quo

                you used to be able to debate stuff – what happened?

                • Puckish Rogue

                  why should a small group with vast resources being able to have an influence greater than a bigger group with less resources?

                  like the unions?

                  Yes I’m arguing for the status quo because the thought of having to pay money towards the election of party that I don’t want anywhere near power is just plain wrong

                  If Labour can’t raise funds from its supporters maybe it should like at:

                  Its policies
                  Its ministers
                  Its fund raising efforts
                  Its public profile

                  • framu

                    one person can donate $10 – the other can donate $100,000 – who should have more access and influence?

                    If your answer is neither how do you propose sorting that out?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Make all donations public so the public (remember them) can then decide whether or not parties are being bought

          • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.2

            You know how to make it not a political football? Have an independent organisation set the funding levels.

            We already do it with television spending for political parties – it’s decided by an independent body.

            Next petty objection?

            • Puckish Rogue 1.1.1.1.2.1

              You know how to make it not a political football?

              Don’t change something that isn’t broken (and its not broken)

              • framu

                oravidas “charity” golf game isnt evidence of a broken system?

                its telling that as of the past few weeks all youve got is linking to whaleoil or throwing out a one liner that avoids the question

              • Draco T Bastard

                Our present system is very, very broken.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  I agree, the unions have far too much influence on NZ but its better then changing it

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    No, it’s the rich that have far too much influence and that’s why it needs changing. The most important bit being that we need to get rid of the rich.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      I don’t want the National, Act, UF anywhere near parliament so why would I want tax payers money go towards their re-election.

      FTFY

      More transperancy towards daonations absolutely but public funding no

      That’s the bit that you’re missing. We don’t have transparency with private donations and the MPs are selling policy for donations. To stop that we have to go to public funding of parties.

  2. stever 2

    I guess we should not be surprised at NZ, UK and Oz here…they are all taking their political script from the same place.

  3. ianmac 3

    Well Jerry Brownlie certainly wants the discussion shut down. What is it that Mr Key says?
    “If you have nothing wrong then you have nothing to fear.”

  4. captain hook 4

    these people can never have enough money. Its what defines them. They need it to assert their superiority over the masses by purchasing ostentatious goods and services. Its what is destroying the planet but they dont care.

  5. Kiwiiano 5

    Heaven forbid that we end up like America, the best democracy money can buy. Unfortunately, the Cabinet Clubs are the top of the slippery slope that will inevitably lead to a government controlled by Big Money, who whatever their spin doctors may claim, are only interested in being even Bigger Money.

    Assuming of course our current leaders aren’t already well down the slope…

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    We need to address the true problem – politicians being promised and then given plum high salary jobs with big corporations after leaving their time in office. Just check out Tony Blair flitting around the middle east doing God’s work for JP Morgan.

    In short, big business interests don’t have to donate a single cent to a political party to have massive influence: offering a Westpac style Simon Power role for $400K pa will do more harm to democracy than any single $50K donation to the general coffers of a political party (although that is bad enough in itself).

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      How do you know that the $50k donation didn’t come with such an offer as well?

  7. amirite 7

    I would cut all the private funding for parties. Set some small amount like $100,000 a year by the state to fund’em. Aren’t their MPs salaries and privileges enough anyway? Why do they need fancy billboards, posters, leaflets, TV ads etc?
    Let them do the footwork – door to door knocking, and they can use the internet.
    Every party gets the same allocated time on state radio and TV to promote their policies.
    And the we’ll see whose policies are the best without all the special effects.
    Cheap as!

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

    • RedBaronCV 7.2

      I agree – severely constrain the amount they can spend as a party so they have to get elected the old fashioned way – by getting out and talking to the electorate. Put some controls on third party news media and lastly all of us should think of donating just a dollar or two to the parties we like best – then they don’t have to look at the big donors. And outright forbid any off shore donations, corporate doantions etc.

      • Kiwiiano 7.2.1

        “And outright forbid any off shore donations, corporate donations etc.”

        Then there’s articles in newspapers and other media that are blatantly biased. The trouble is there are multitudes of options for tweaking the voter’s mindset.

        At least we still have a culture in NZ of politicians being crucified if they’re caught telling porkies. The US seems quite blasé about the most outrageous, barefaced lies.

  8. philj 8

    xox
    All parties shouldn’t need any money. What they should have is equal access to a quality State Broadcaster, which we don’t have. Firstly, establish a non commercial state broadcaster. TVNZ is utter rubbish, and not fit for purpose.

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