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politics for sale? « Previous | |Next »
March 13, 2007

Is the Burke scandal in WA the tip of the iceberg?

Andrew Murray, the Democrat Senator from WA, argues that it is scandalous that political parties, which, after all, control the country, are totally unregulated:

They have less transparency than a tennis club. I think this is a very corrupt system. I stand to be corrected, but I cannot recall one single instance of improved accountability or transparency in political funding and disclosure initiated by the Federal Coalition Government in its years in office.

Politics is for sale. Party fund-raising is effectively a series of business deals, in which companies and individuals make donations to parties on the understanding of benefits flowing to them from government decisions.

There needs to be transparency as some lobby grroups, such as the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is supportive of the Howard Government on any issue and rarely supports anything put forward by the federal Opposition or state Labor governments. Though this business group is presented presented in the media as objective commentators on economic policy (industrial relations and tax) they adopt a purely partisan political approach.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:17 AM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

politics is the name we give the struggle for power, and it's use, in a society. currently, a guild of people called politicians 'own' politics and run australia, as the inheritors of the norman warlords who had a big day at hastings, and later shaped subsequent british history at runnymede. from 1066 to now, democracy has never figured in british history, and australia's rulers are not going to change the tradition of oligarchy any time soon.

consequently, talking about a lack of 'transparency' in government is simply comical: pollies are at the top of the power food chain,we are lucky our history limits their power at all.

may i urge you to find out how things are done in switzerland, as the single example of functioning democracy extant? then compare their society with ours,and be glad we don't have worse conditions than we do- nothing to stop dictatorship in a parliamentary society, as hitler demonstrated.

Al,
I would add to your opening statement that 'politics is the name we give the struggle for power' the phrase between friends and enemies. An image of this.

I appreciate that we only have liberal democracy and not a participatory democracy and that it is rule by executive with periodic elections between competing groups of a political class.

But we can make the lobby groups more accountable as they do shape the policy agenda --eg., energy policy.

I'm not sure whether you agree with Senator Murray's call for more accountability?