Submission to the NSW Select Committee on Electoral and Political Party Funding

Leong, S. (Participant), Hazelton, J. (Participant), Cynthia Townley (Participant)

Activity: Other


My co-authors and I sought to achieve three objectives with this submission. First, we sought to illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of corporate contribution reforms. Our research into American campaign finance reform had shown us that simple changes may not only fail to accomplish the goal, but backfire. We therefore sought to arm the Committee with the benefit of American hindsight. Second, we wanted to ensure that the Committee was aware of the existence and criticisms of the public campaign financing system called ‘Clean Money’, which is operational in several other American states. As there had previously been calls for complete public financing of elections, we thought it important that the Committee be aware of what happened when such a program was attempted in the real world. Finally, we wish to provide our thoughts on the best - or more accurately, the least unattractive – way of dealing with organisational political donations. This submission was cited in the Committee’s Final Report. While our specific suggestions were not incorporated, the Committee did recommend improvements to political finance disclosure law, many of which were ultimately accepted and acted upon by the Government.
Period28 Feb 2009