Dr Joo-Cheong Tham, a legal scholar and campaign finance expert at the University of Melbourne, has just had his new book published by UNSW Press called:
'Money and Politics: The democracy we can't afford'
The book highlights in Australian politics, the massive private donations made to the major politcial parties - Labor, Liberals, Nationals and The Greens. It highlights that some $60 million has been spent on election advertising toward the 2010 federal election, of that $40 million by Labor and Liberal parties - no wonder they get re-elected.
How can minor political parties, new political parties with no election history and so no AEC funding, or independent candidates stand a hope of getting elected, when such wealth bias exists in the Australian electoral system?
Australia simply does not have free and fair elections. The AEC only facilitates a duel contest between Liberal and Labor, which have similar ideologies and policies anyway. No wonder there are so many informal votes and so many who have become disenfranchised with Australia's electoral system.
Dr Tham questions the secrecy of the funding of the parties' campaigns, and why Australians have to wait until February 2012 to have this information disclosed to the voting public - "a full year and a half to find out who paid the piper at the 2010 elections.".