So here is a funny thing: The Australian Electoral Commission – enforcer of compulsory voting and regulatory agency that maintains the monopoly powers of the major parties is having a spat with the leftist Get-Up. If this were a football match I’d be hoping for plenty of injuries.
GetUp! is preparing for legal action as the AEC considers requests to change its declared status under electoral laws from independent to “associated entity”.
The AEC defines an associated entity as operating “wholly or to a significant extent to the benefit of one or more of the registered political parties”.
GetUp! appears desperate to avoid “associated entity” status because it would be forced to lodge financial disclosure returns with much stricter conditions. Source donors would be required to lodge returns as well.
Now I have no doubt that Get-Up is an “associated entity” (if not in a strict legal sense – the courts will answer that question – but in a philosophical sense) of the ALP and the Greens. I have never once doubted that – but so what? Okay, so they have to comply with pesky laws. But the broader issue must be that nobody intelligent could have imagined that Get-Up is an “independent” body. They are lefties and raise money for lefty causes.
Now this causes a lot of excitement amongst some people who it now appears have managed to sic the AEC onto Get- Up. The better solution is to get up (heh) off your own bums and establish an organisation that mobilises money and resources for your causes. Of course that would mean that centre-right politicians would have to be a tad more responsive to their own base (a strange concept to be sure), work a tad harder, lose the born-to-rule attitude and so on.
All up it seems a bit strange that we live in a society where violent protest is protected as political speech but giving money isn’t.