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Political donation influence should be smoked out

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 22 Aug 2013

Commenting on today’s announcements from Labor and the Coalition on political donations from tobacco companies, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has renewed calls for legislative changes to include bans on political donations from all for-profit organisations. 

“I welcome Prime Minister Rudd’s acknowledgement that tobacco companies only donate to political parties to try to influence policy. This is an important first step, but let’s get real and accept that tobacco companies are not the only players in the game of influencing policy through money”, said Senator Rhiannon.

“I urge all political parties standing in this election to commit to far reaching electoral funding reform that is underpinned with strict limits on election expenditure and a ban on donations from for-profit institutions.

“The Australian National University’s “Attitudes to Electoral Reform” poll showed a majority of the electorate disapprove of corporate political donations. 55 per cent of those surveyed believe that corporate donations are corrupt or somewhat corrupt. Only one third of those surveyed found that such donations are ‘honest’.

“Public confidence in the democratic parties would be boosted if these important and long overdue reforms went ahead.

“When Parliament resumes the Greens will move legislation to achieve electoral funding reform. It is disappointing that Labor did not support the Greens bill introduced into the Senate to ban political donations from tobacco companies.  We welcome Labor’s change of heart on this important issue”, said Senator Rhiannon.

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