Donations or Bribery?
Everyone has their own take on this subject mine is simple, its bribery! Now, how can I qualify that. Simple having run 2 campaigns and been involved in both parliamentary and policy sub committees I have seen donors give tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars and then start lobbying for their cause. Their want (it often isnt belief) is that the money gives them access to politicians to influence decisions and policy. Dont make the mistake of seeing this as someone trying to make the country better. ITS NOT. It is nothing more than greed by big business and big unions trying to get its/their way.
Currently the regulator (yes there is one) of donations is holding $4m given that it is suspect in its manner and in who gave the money. I believe it is about 1/20th of what is donated for electioneering. How does it work? A donor gives money to a nominated party person (never a candidate or sitting member) who by constitution has no voting power. So usually a party secretary or treasurer. That money is used for an election or party need. Many flyers, signs and adverticements are paid for with donations. Then the donor has access to that politician to discuss their wants in policy or certain matters.
So who is a donor? Many big companies are donors such as mining companies or large retailers and banks, Some wealthy persons are also donors and recently donor companies have become a fashionable method of hiding a donation. So why would a retailer want to donate and speak with a politician? So they can effect the outcome of wages and conditions policy, especially week end and public holiday wages and conditions or opening hours or casual wages and conditions.
To be honest nothing less than full disclosure is what is required. Some would want to ban donations altogether. Dont forget sometimes the donations are to save something like blood tests or anti smoking campaigns and cancer campaigns. So dont kill it just ask for it to be regulated correctly.
See the four corners expose here.