Left flank: Politically paid-off? Donations, influence and power in Australia

The election is finally done and dusted now, but still worth reading…

Lest people thought that the pre-election red-baiting of the Greens would stop now that the party’s vote had risen to 11.5 percent and they had gained four new Senators as well as a lower house MP, it has not taken long for a new round of attacks to start. While the media have joined the major parties in courting the three conservative Independent MPs, in particular sanitizing the noxious politics of Bob Katter, already we have been regaled with warnings of Greens extremism and confected shock at Adam Bandt’s history as a socialist in the student network Left Alliance in the 1990s.

But one of the most vexing criticisms has been the donation of a large sum of money (believed to be $325,000) to the Greens campaign by the Victorian branch of the Electrical Trades Union. A significant portion of this ended up with Adam’s campaign. Beyond any right-wing outrage, such as that practiced by the Murdoch press, progressive Sydney Morning Herald columnist Lisa Pryor has also weighed into the debate, broadening it to the question of political donations more generally. [READ THE REST.]


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