Archive for December 27th, 2008

Liberals still trying to get at NGOs

Newbie Liberal MP Jamie Briggs is off to a bad start to his parliamentary career, continuing the Howard government’s anti-democratic attempts to use electoral law to get at its political enemies.

Briggs told The Age that:

with the Government’s recent release of a green paper on all aspects of electoral funding, “we must not just look at donations to political parties — reform must also cover the influence of third parties on elections”.

“If not addressed, heavily financed third-party campaigns will be like a growing cancer in our democracy.”

Though it does not provide a direct quotation, the paper reports Briggs as saying expenditure by third parties should probably be capped.

But I fail to see how people getting involved in politics can be a cancer on our democracy, unless they are aiming to overthrow our democracy, which clearly the groups that seem to pre-occupy Briggs – GetUp! and the ACTU – are not. All they are doing is opposing the Liberal Party, which may be frustrating and annoying to a Liberal MP, but is of no systemic concern.
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