Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Spending cap leaves Labor sitting pretty

By Graham Young - posted Thursday, 7 November 2019

Presumably the legislation (which we have yet to see) won't classify either of these as donations. So unions will effectively fall outside the cap on donations.

Unions aren't the only third parties and Labor knows how to play the third party game really well. They're already at it finding third parties to back their plans which they then present as proof this is what is needed.

One of these is the Centre for Public Integrity, to which Queensland's Tony Fitzgerald has lent his name.


Since when did this government care what Fitzgerald thought? It didn't stop them from changing the voting system to compulsory preferential, against his recommendations.

The Executive Director of this centre is Hannah Aulby. Aulby is a card-carrying member of the Green Left Industrial complex. Previous jobs include climate change campaigner with the Australian Conservation Foundation, and author of at least one paper for The Australia Institute.

She thinks democracy and consultation are fine, as long as it is for her side of the argument, once describing as "pernicious" a meeting between the Chairman of Adani and the Prime Minister, because businesses shouldn't even be talking to government.

The rest of the organisation appears to consist of some retired judges most with Labor connections; two barristers, one of whom specialises in refugee matters, and the other who has just been condemned by a Labor member in the NSW parliament for endangering democray; and two academics, one of whom is a Labor lawyer who has unsuccessfully run for preselection twice.

This is not a group that you would go to for independent, fair-minded advice

Labor has form when it comes to fiddles. When the opposition with the cross-bench expanded the number of seats in the last parliament, they sneaked in compulsory preferential voting, because it favoured them.


Then they tried to nobble the LNP's fundraising efforts by banning property developers from donating. The LNP has obviously regrouped from that, with private donors filling the gap to such an extent that when it comes to donations the LNP can claim to have a bigger grassroots following than any of the other parties.

So now we have this.

In the old days Labor used to rightly complain about the Joh Gerrymander. This does the same thing, but instead of misallocating geography and voters it misallocates money.

It's amazing how the sniff of ministerial leather masks the stench of electoral deceit, especially when a government is in trouble. This bill is wrong, pity the government has the numbers to force it through.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. Page 3
  5. All

This article was first published in an edited form in The Courier Mail.

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

4 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Graham Young

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Graham Young
Article Tools
Comment 4 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy