Banning Political Donations a Positive Step for Democracy in SA: Australia Institute

The South Australian Labor Party’s commitment to abolishing political donations after the upcoming state election is a positive step for SA that would help to restore trust in politics at a critical time, the Australia Institute has said.

“If implemented well, these reforms could revolutionise politics in South Australia and become a template for other states and territories across the country,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, SA Director at The Australia Institute.

“Politics in Australia should be a contest of ideas, not an auction where the spoils of government are bought by the highest bidder.

“With the South Australian Greens also supporting a ban on political donations, it’s time for all political parties in the state to come to the table and work together to implement this positive reform.”

“The increasing role of money in Australian politics is a threat to the long-term health of our democracy,” said Bill Browne, senior researcher in the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program.

“Avoiding a descent into a US-style system that is fuelled by big donations from mega-donors is a worthy aim, but this will not be a simple reform.

“Avoiding pitfalls, such as allowing wealthy individuals to fund their own campaigns or excluding new entrants to the political system, will be essential. It will take time and a genuine commitment to empowering regular voters over vested interests for South Australia to get this reform right.”

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