Political Donations - A Fresh Pathway

Neil Freestone

Electoral Regulation Research Network Seminar

Political Donations - A Fresh Pathway
Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Event Audio Recording

Political Donations - A Fresh Pathway

Speakers in this recording:

  • Presenter: Mr Neil Freestone
  • Chair: Associate Professor Joo-Cheong Tham
Neil Freestone presenting

About the Seminar

Neil Freestone, the author of 'Political Donations & Safeguards Code', discussed his proposal for a new pathway towards enabling greater participation in our democracy. The pathway provides for an expanded role for the Australian Electoral Commission, funded (at least in part) by the re-direction of public funding away from political parties and candidates and towards the administration of a fairer and more transparent electoral system. The proposal would see the end of large political donations and the end of donations from any person or entity that is not an ‘eligible voter’. The new pathway would deliver real-time transparency along with a range of caps. It also draws associated entities and third parties into the proposal, while acknowledging basic political rights. The author’s work includes a draft piece of legislation that is intended as a starting point where the model can – with constructive input from interested persons – become a reality.

The Speaker

After completing degrees in economics and law at Monash University, Neil Freestone practised law in Orbost in Far East Gippsland. He has worked as a solicitor for Monash University and has provided legal services to other organisations, including Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute and Swinburne University of Technology.

As an author, some of the works Neil Freestone has recently published include a short story called ‘The Yellow Shells’, which describes one view of the role of government in society and the creation of money, and a short story called ‘Crossroads’, which is about two refugees. Neil continues to provide legal assistance to private clients and to ethically orientated organisations, and he continues to write about things that he hopes might help to improve the quality of the world we live in. He is not associated with any political party.