Open Letter: Opposition to The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017
Dear Susan Templeman and the ALP,
As a constituent in your electorate and an Australian citizen I wish to draw your attention and the whole of the Australian Labor Party, Australian Greens and Independents to vote against and block this forthcoming anti-democratic bill in its entirety by the LNP. Here are my reasons and concerns:
The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017 is sponsored by the LNP far-right. It seeks to put civil rights and the people’s voice along with many civil and human rights organisations, charities and NGOs in a ‘straight jacket’, while ignoring the excessive, secret and corrupt sponsorship of the Liberal party by the corporate sector:
1) It will decimate the impact of civil society — forcing charities and grassroots organisations to join a government register, follow complex new rules or face 10 years in prison. Such restrictions and penalties are undemocratic and plainly punitive, excessive and absurd. Australia is already over governed and over regulated compared to other countries and registration and regulation of freely organised groups such as these is not only unwarranted but a clear indication of further solidification of a paranoid police state, which Peter Dutton and his megalomaniac Department of Home Affairs will relish in abusing and exceeding an already heavily over appointed portfolio and concentration of ungovernable powers.
2) It seeks to coerce ordinary people and independent grass roots organisations by forcing them to affiliate with one or more political parties. This is clearly undemocratic, forcing partisan politics on people and their right to voice their concerns collectively, when many are not aligned to parties and more concerned about individual policies and their impact on the daily lives and civil rights of ordinary Australians. It is undemocratic and unconstitutional to force any non-partisan organisation, whether professional, charitable or democratically organised to affiliate with a political party. In fact it is unethical and unconscionable when many such organisations are required to be non-partisan and non-aligned representing the professional, civil, legal, social, cultural, ethnic, religious and personal beliefs of its members however appointed. It is simply unacceptable to force such independence and freedoms which serve the interests of democracy, liberty and freedom of speech to align with a political party. In fact it is a very dangerous precedent to the intent and formation of a totalitarian state.
3) This will choke many charitable, civil and human rights organisations, voluntary associations, social groups, NGO sector and the democratically organised civil rights movement, such as GetUp!, CHANGE, Amnesty International, Greenpeace and hundreds of other organisations by forcing anyone who donates more than $4.80 a week to get a formal document signed and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace – This is a serious infringement on civil freedom, it is unjustified, intrusive, unconstitutional, and clearly an attack on people’s right to organise, meet essential costs and exercise free speech and peaceful opposition to increasingly draconian legislation, partisan bias and corporate policy. There is no question that the organisations targeted are the very organisations that seek to protect civil rights and freedoms, democracy, social justice and the environment, often contributing far more than the government itself to the stability and maintenance of civil society, sensible and informed democracy. Indeed without these organisations we would be at the mercy of corporate greed and profit and the continued abuse of people’s freedom, exploitation of hard working Australians, our country and the planet. The people of whatever persuasion have a lawful right to organise, the means to organise and voice their concerns amicably and peacefully, free of unnecessary intrusion, political coercion, restriction and intimidation – it is a basic human right under UN declaration.
4) The LNP and hard-right (if indeed there is any difference between them today) have devised this Bill to only apply to civil society — for massive corporations and the fossil fuel lobby, it’ll be business as usual. Now where is the equity, the fairness, the democracy, the liberty, the sensibility, the justice in that? If any legislation should be brought into being it ought to be to make transparent, to cap and declare all sponsorship and financial support to political parties especially from corporations, big business and from overseas, to ensure the independence and health of our democracy and democratically elected institutions; to safe guard our constitution and civil society, the public good, safety and interest.
I cannot accept and nor will I accept under any circumstances such a gross and undemocratic attack on our constitutional rights and freedoms. If Labor let this legislation through unopposed, Labor will be actively contributing to the dissolution of what the people of Australia have fought for over many years enshrined in Federation over 100 years ago. It will allow the LNP to assume unfettered control of the electoral agenda and process; the continuance of secret and well financed political and electoral agendas including the propagation of fear and misinformation campaigns at time of major general elections. This has gone too far and it must stop.
I urge you as our sitting elected Member of Parliament and representative, the ALP in conjunction with the Greens and independents to adopt a non-partisan approach and vote against this bill in its entirety. Please block this bill, we cannot afford to let this legislation see the light of day for the sake of our democracy and our children.
The people of Australia are relying on you. Can you please advise me/us of yours and the ALP’s intentions before this Bill receives any further direction or is voted on?
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!
378 total views, 6 views today