New political donation laws introduced in July 2018, towards the end of the Andrews’ government’s first term, are taking effect in the leadup to the 2022 election. And the ramifications are worth considering.
The stated aims appear very reasonable –
- ban foreign donations
- prevent domestic political influences
- promote transparency.
But the changes have also restricted the campaign capacity of minor parties and independent candidates, as well as third-party campaigners such as the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).
Under the new political donation laws –
- Donors who give more than $1080 must disclose their donations within 21 days to the VEC
- Donations from a single donor to a single recipient are capped at $4320 within an electoral cycle
- Donors are not allowed to give to more than six third-party campaigners within an electoral cycle
- For recipients to utilise the donations for their election campaign, the funds must be directed to their “state campaign account”, limiting their campaign expenditure to the amount raised.
Ironically, the laws don’t apply to “affiliation fees” paid by the Unions to the Labor Party, which has contributed to many saying that the limitations have advantaged the Andrews Labor Government.
The new laws have been blamed by the newly formed ‘Victorian Party’ for their de-registration, as they, along with other minor parties, candidates and third-party organisations have struggled to campaign effectively due to the restrictions.
The ACL believes that all political parties, candidates and third-party campaigners should have equal opportunity and capacity to advocate for their causes and campaign during an election. This is democracy.
Unfortunately, many Victorians are finding that, under the new laws, the party, candidates or third-party campaigners they want to support have a limited campaign capacity.
Despite these challenges, ACL’s desire is to run a strong campaign in this state election, with a particular focus on the Upper House balance of power in order to block further anti-Christian laws.
If you’d like to make a difference by donating to the Victorian election campaign, please make sure your donation goes to the “state campaign account”. For the above reasons, donations made to ACL’s general fund cannot be used for election campaign expenditure.
You can find out more about political donations under the current laws here: https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/candidates-and-parties/political-donations/information-for-donors
“Righteousness exalts a nation…” (Proverbs 14:34a). Please continue to pray for Victoria and the upcoming election.