Sinc on Cat and Janet Albrechtsen in the OZ have have well covered the whole foreign influence business and the CPAC conference.
There is much to be said about the appalling legislative drafting that led to the mess, similar to the legislative drafting architecture that has given plenty of unaccountable and opaque powers to plenty of government agencies and bureaucrats. But for another time.
But for today, reference is made to the work of Alice Workman in the Oz today:
Taxpayers have forked out more than $2m to the Liberals, Labor and the Greens for overseas trips to help their “sister parties” in the US, Britain, New Zealand and Canada during the 2019-20 financial year.
All in then. Any access to this money for independents and other parties? Perhaps not. Just another tax payer paid trip.
Why? It’s all part of the Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program created by the Howard government in 2005. The APPDP pays political staff members and politicians to attend foreign elections, networking events, conferences and training, and for overseas delegations to visit Australia.
Way to go Johnno. Another “conservative” policy from a “liberal” government.
According to Workman:
The Liberals will visit and assist centre-right parties in Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Fiji, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Maldives, Mongolia and Malaysia. Oh, and the US Republican Party, British Conservative Party, NZ Nationals and Canada’s Conservative Party.
assist/visit the US Democratic Party, British Labour Party, NZ Labour Party, Ireland Labour Party, Israeli Labour Party, Canada’s New Democratic Party, Germany’s Social Democratic Party, France’s Parti Socialiste, Italy’s Partito Democratico, plus other “progressive, social democratic and labour parties”, organisations and think tanks in Belgium, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and more.
And the Greens plan to work towards
the “development and consolidation of Greens parties” in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East, including Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine and Jordan.
Who will be the foreigners our “political staff members and politicians” will be meeting? Have they registered with the Attorney Generals Department. Will there be records kept of meetings – transcripts and attendees. Has the Department demanded and reviewed all correspondence related to these trips.
Is this acceptable to the Department? These foreigners will be able to influence our politicians! Come on. Where is Chidgey and her crack team?