Malcolm Turnbull’s view that could change Australian politics

Labor senator Sam Dastyari’s foreign donation scandal has opened up a Pandora’s Box on the issue of foreign political donations.

Labor senator Sam Dastyari’s foreign donation scandal has opened up a Pandora’s Box on the issue of foreign political donations.

But could that all be about to change?

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told reporters where he stands on the issue.

“Ideally, donations to political parties should be limited to people who are on the electoral roll – voters,” he said.

“I would like, if we can manage it, financial participation in the election process to be limited to those people who can vote and that’s where we should get to.”

Limiting donations to people on the electoral roll would block foreign donations and donations from corporations and trade unions, according to the PM.

So what’s stopping any action against foreign political donations?

Well, Mr Turnbull says it’s complex because of implied freedom of political communication.

“We do have big legal issues and some constitutional issues,” he said.

But that’s not all he could be open to changing.

The PM has highlighted possible changes to the way elections work, particularly surrounding the involvement of activist groups such as trade unions and GetUp.

“If you pass a law that affects donations to political parties that does not address the full range of financial involvement in the political contest, then you may actually be achieving very little indeed,” he said.

You might wondering, could Malcolm Turnbull actually be able to make any changes?

It turns out, he might be able to after all.

LNP senator Cory Bernardi, who has challenged the PM on many issues, also supports a ban on foreign, corporate and trade union donations.

“Donations should only be made to political parties by those that are registered on the Australian electoral roll, they should be capped to a finite amount and they should only be made by individuals,” he said on ABC’s AM earlier this week.

“It’s wrong for substantial amounts of money from foreign entities in non-democratic governments to flow into [the] Australian body politic.”

Labor and the Greens also reportedly back banning foreign donations, although they’re reportedly unlikely to support any moves to ban donations from trade unions.

What do you think? Should political donations be limited to voters only?

  1. Brian Whitehead  

    I think the can of worms opened in Parliament could well and truly bite the bum of Malcolm Turnbull. Political donations are purely bribes, you scratch my back etc.

    • Jeffrey  

      So , you are saying that the money the Labour Party gets from the Unions is a bribe to do what they say…

  2. Mareela  

    Turnbull and Bernardi are after Getup as they caused a lot of damage for the coalition last election. What they fail to understand is Getup is only successful because it overwhelmingly represents what’s important to many Australians. This government just refuses to listen to the people and continues to govern for big business and corporations. Don’t know how they got back into government. They will legislate to ensure they get back into government. Helping the majority of Australians is at the bottom of the INP list. Australia will never get ahead while the conservatives are in charge. So sad.

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      Mareela, How true, I have no idea how they managed to get back in also. I know they are trying to get rid of GETUP.
      That is not going to happen. Hope Getup continue to cause Turnbull trouble. Turnbull does not listen to Australian people and I one are so sick of him.

    • So it’s OK for the interfering megalomaniac George Soros to throw funding at both Getup and the Greens? Wonder when any Union asked its members if they really wanted their hard earned to be thrown into political donations? I’ll go further, why has Australia donated funds to the Clinton Foundation or even the totally corrupt UN?
      It is a can of corrupt worms when outsiders can infiltrate our political landscape, but my really big question about Sam’s bill payment is, how on earth does he have a relationship with an overseas company where he feels comfortable to even presume he should give them his bill to pay, just because he didn’t feel like putting his own Gand in his pocket?

    • Gavin Weston  

      Yes, it is sad that our Political system is becoming increasingly more like the unbelievable U.S.A. System. What a shemozzle that electoral system is and no doubt subject to all sorts or rorts for the parties? As I understand what the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, is proposing makes a lot of sense, in that it is only the individual Australian voter who can donate to the Political Parties not individual candidates. This will inevitably decrease the donation funds for the parties, but that may be a good thing in that we, the voter, will not be subject to the long, tiring, repetitive and tedious campaign the Parties are now trying to wage with matters or points of view that are narrow to meet the Party’s decrees for their campaign and many times not relevant to what people are wanting or talking about. In this the Partys’ subject the population to an seemingly endless array of not very important matters that concern the voters although they do deal with important matters that sometimes we the voters are not aware of or have considered..

  3. Robert Green  

    This article must be a late April fools joke!! It mentions Malcontent Turncoat making a stand. It will be the first one since he knifed Tony and in the scheme of things won’t impact the budget much. Go Mal! Somewhere other than the prime ministers office. Pull up a deck chair in your tax haven and hand us over to safer hands.

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