Book Launch “Money and Politics: The Democracy We Can’t Afford

Melbourne Law School academic and political funding expert Dr. Joo-Cheong Tham will launch his new book “Money and Politics: The Democracy We Can’t Afford” with a panel discussion on the challenges posed by money in Australian politics on Tuesday 3 August.  
Speaking ahead of the launch, Dr Tham said that voters didn’t have to look far to see how money has ‘distorted and disfigured’ Australia’s democracy. 
 “The big mining companies have shown us the political power of corporate wealth” he says. “As a group it was reported they put aside $100 million for their ads against the proposed ‘Super Profits Tax’, with up to $2 million being spent each week to run the ads.”
Dr Tham’s book tackles the controversial role money plays in Australian politics and the fear that political power resides with only a few rich and powerful citizens and corporations.

Measuring transparency in public spending

Measuring transparency in public spending: Case of Czech Public e-Procurement Information System

Date: 2010-06

By:

Jana Chvalkovská (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
Jiří Skuhrovec (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)

“Buying Influence” – the Age Editorial on political donations

Buying influence at the expense of public confidence

June 21, 2010

Political donations will always arouse suspicion.

POLITICAL parties are also businesses: they have to be. But is it the business of politicians to solicit and accept substantial donations to party funds, especially when such gifts could be seen as potential buying-of-influence – or, to put it bluntly, a form of bribery in hope of future services rendered? Such conclusions, while perhaps simplistic, are inevitably drawn whenever or wherever the subject of party politics and corporate largesse arises.

Read more here

Accountability Round Table member The Hon Dr Ken Coghill gets a mention.

INTEGRITY AWARDS SPEECH – John Faulkner’s acceptance speech – John Button Award

Ladies and gentlemen, I am honoured, if a little apprehensive to receive this award.
Honoured, because I have always believed that the accountability, scrutiny and review mechanisms of parliament are fundamental to our democracy, critical to holding governments to account and essential for good policy outcomes. I have maintained that belief throughout my time in Parliament.

INTEGRITY AWARDS SPEECH – Petro Georgiou’s acceptance speech – Alan Missen Award

Sir Anthony Mason, Tim Smith, Members of the Accountability Roundtable, parliamentary colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

I am deeply honoured that the Accountability Roundtable has considered me to be an appropriate choice for the Alan Missen Award for 2010. What Alan Missen did spanned decades, beginning with his opposition to the Menzies’ government’s referendum proposal to ban the Communist Party. When one considers this, and Alan’s record of independence and achievement in the Senate, then one can only conclude that the Roundtable has been generous in its choice for the inaugural Missen award.

Ex-judge criticises Australian politics

The Age June 15, 2010

Australia’s politicians are perceived as disconnected from the concerns of the people, and politics is all about gaining and maintaining power, former High Court chief justice Sir Anthony Mason says.

In a stinging critique of contemporary Australian politics, he said there was also a prevailing and unrealistic expectation that government could solve everybody’s problems.

Sir Anthony said surveys indicated many Australians would give a depressing verdict on the integrity, humanity and efficiency of the Australian political system.

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