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Friday, January 22, 2010

Two different worlds, we hope...

On top of a myriad of other problems comes this US Supreme Court decision (see Washington Post's rundown) that finds restrictions on corporate spending in electoral campaigns inconsistent with the First Amendment's protection of political speech. The decision comes after decades of effort to limit corporate influence, but does not address the restriction on direct contributions to candidates, and upholds disclosure requirements for groups that mount advertising campaigns for and against candidates. Just why corporations should enjoy rights originally framed for individuals is a question for another day

The NSW Parliamentary Research Service has published this useful  Research Paper - Political Donations and Electoral Finance which summarises the state of play here including constitutional issues that have been raised about state based reform efforts.

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