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Key must commit to transparent campaign financing

Key must commit to transparent campaign financing

Election campaign finance laws urgently need to be cleaned up so that donations to political parties are transparent, says the Green Party.

“Nicky Hagar’s book has revealed evidence that leading figures in the National Party were aware of the identity of a number of the large donors to the Party’s election campaign. However, the National Party donations’ return to the Electoral Commission appears to record these donations as anonymous,” says Russel Norman, Green Co-Leader.

“The evidence in the book suggests that these major donors were expecting the National Party to deliver on certain policy goals, goals that supported their interests.

“This presents a clear and present danger to the integrity of our democracy because if the National Party had been elected to Government in 2005 it could have been beholden to major donors whose identity would be secret to the public but not the National Party leadership.

“If National had been elected in 2005 we would never have known how their policy may have been affected by their gratitude to these donors nor whether these donors were receiving preferential treatment in Government tendering processes.

“We urgently need to reform campaign finance law to stop “anonymous” donations, above a low threshold such as $1000.

“While the National Party is not the only party to receive anonymous donations, they have done so on a scale that dwarfs all others.

“If the public know who the donors are then at least we can cast the sterilising light of public attention on Government decision-making to see if there any links with the donors.

“I call on John Key, as National Party heir apparent, to support our call for campaign finance reform so that we can clean up the sleaze that has now been revealed at the heart of the National Party and hence within our democratic system.

“If Key won’t commit to transparent campaign financing then we should all be asking what he’s afraid of, and what’s to stop all this happening again in 2008?”

ends

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