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Is Queensland the only jurisdiction in the world where donations to a political party or a politician are legislated as non-political?

On July 1, 2022, the Queensland government announced, "The new electoral reforms will increase public funding to $6 per first preference vote for a registered political party, and $3 per first preference vote for candidates. In return, big money donations will be stamped out, with political donations capped from 1 July 2022 to 30 November 2024 to $6,000 for candidates of the same party inclusive and $4,000 for parties". Notice the words political donations in the statement.

However, the facts are that the incumbent parties receive more money per first preference vote and the donation caps are not real. When the Queensland government announced the donation caps, they did not mention a new option to select a non-political donation.

All donors can select the 'non-political' donation check box, and the caps no longer apply. It is that simple. There is no scrutiny of what is a political or non-political donation. The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) cannot determine if a donation is political or non-political or how the party or politician will spend it.

We contacted the ECQ to clarify, and they confirmed it is as I have written above.

The great philosophical question remains. Can donations to a political party or a politician be non-political?

# Public Policy # Political Science