Democratic participation is under fire again, with calls to reform the Australian Electoral Commission’s guidelines to create new registers of donors to political parties:
‘Can a politician ignore the message of a table of executives from a company that has just paid his party tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars? Maybe they can, but the community should know about it and have the right to judge for itself.
This is direct threat to freedom of speech and freedom of association. Lists of donors can all too easily be used to punish those who supported the other side. Earlier this year in the US it was discovered that donors to the Republican party were being deliberately targeted by the IRS. Let’s make sure that the same lists that tracked down the Republicans don’t become the norm in Australia.