MR BEAN PAYS A HIGH PRICE?
... well no, he doesn't actually
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
No, Sam will not be paying a high price for his resignation, in fact his pay will not be reduced by a single cent. After the last election Shorten was forced to inform both Dastyari and Andrew Leigh that, although they had been appointed to the shadow front bench, they would not be receiving shadow Ministers’ salaries. They had to stay on shadow back benchers' salaries due to a factional deal done to retain the hard Left Senator Kim Carr.
Shadow Treasurer Bowen said at the time neither Andrew Leigh nor Senator Sam Dastaryi were concerned about their shadow back bench salaries.
"I'm sure in due course, when we're in Government, they'll be paid as Ministers," he said.
This leaves the Senate a better place without Mr Bean and Senate debate will now turn to foreign donations to political parties and individuals... enter John Howard.
Why Australia is fixated with the opinions of ex Prime Ministers is a mystery. They ruled in a past era and preach in a current one. John Howard, when asked about the banning of foreign donations said, “Careful what you wish for”. He was arguing for the continuation of foreign donations despite the turbulent wake of the Sam Dastyari scandal.
Parliament itself has always been compromised by foreign interests simply because foreign interests of all persuasions are allowed unfettered access to the deposit slips of all Parliamentarians’ and Parties' bank accounts.
John Howard may be right on this occasion but for reasons other than those he cites. Banning foreign donations will lead to the unwieldy US experience of “super pacs” raising billions in funds to support all sorts of candidates. And funds raised to support the denigration of candidates.
Total super pac money raised for Marco Rubio was $60,564,219, still active is Clinton, $109,938,605 and Trump, $2,160,450...
with a super pac opposing trump having raised $19,900,488 so far.
The US “Center For Responsive Politics” describes super pacs as such: “Technically known as independent expenditure-only committees, super pacs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates.
"Unlike traditional pacs, super pacs are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates, and their spending must not be coordinated with that of the candidates they benefit. Super pacs are required to report their donors to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly or semi-annual basis, the super pac's choice in off-years, and monthly in the year of an election."
Foreign donors although they may be officially banned can donate within the country’s election via branches set up as part of the global reach of the donor.
The same would apply here if foreign donations were banned. All large multinationals, with an interest in a political outcome, would already have offices in the respective election's jurisdiction.
So this rule here could lead to a veritable lawyers’ picnic.
John Howard on this occasion may be correct.