…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
I just got a letter from Tim Andrews of IPA, and it seems to be more important than whatever it was I was writing about:
The Gillard Government has just revealed a sneaky, grubby, underhand ploy to corrupt our democracy and buy our Constitution.
I do not use this phrase lightly. But that is what is occurring right now.
We can stop this – but we need your help.
As you would know, this September there is a referendum to change the constitution to allow Canberra the power to fund local governments.
In my opinion, this is a naked power grab that will force councils to do what’s good for Canberra, not their communities, will force up rates, will lead to more bureaucracy, and will less accountability.
But that isn’t the issue here. The issue is the disgraceful plan to try to rig the vote and buy our democracy.
Even if you support the referendum, what the Gillard Government has just announced is plain, flat out, wrong.
They have just announced that the “YES” campaign will receive a staggering $31.6 million in taxpayer funded political propaganda. In contrast to this massive war chest, the entire “NO” case will get… just $0.5 million.
That’s right. $31.6 million vs $0.5 million.
This an attempt to buy a vote, pure and simple. And with our money to boot!
Never before has a Government tried to buy the Australian Constitution. We can’t let this government get away with it either.
In 1999, the Federal government gave $7.5 million each to both the YES and the NO case. This was fair. Yet now, they are planning to buy the vote by giving the YES campaign sixty five times more money than the no campaign!
This is not just a flagrant abuse of process – it is an attack on our democracy itself.
Personally, I don’t believe that political campaigns should receive any taxpayer funding, but if they must be funded, shouldn’t it be done fairly?
The No Power Grab: Vote No Coalition has launched an online action portal for Australians to contact their MP’s and DEMAND fair funding.
Can you please take the 2 minutes to visit www.nopowergrab.com.au and tell your MP and Senators that this flagrant attack to buy our democracy is just not on?
In the last 24 hours – Tony Abbott, who supports the referendum, has come out in favour of fair funding, and indicated that the Coalition may not support the referendum if this dirty trick comes to pass. So has Senator Eric Abetz.
The success of this shameful plan is at the tipping point – and your action WILL make a difference.
It will take only a few minutes to visit www.nopowergrab.com.au and contact your MP and Senators, or to call Parliament on (02) 6277 7111 and speak to them, but these few minutes might just make the difference.
People power matters. It works.
Just three weeks ago, the Coalition agreed to support a plan by the government to give millions of taxpayer dollars to political parties.
Thousands of emails were sent protesting this, hundreds of phone calls were made… and the plan was dropped. People power triumphed. We won the day.
This is proof – pure and simple – that people power works. It is effective, it is tried, tested, and proven. And we need to harness that power yet again.
I hope – no, I beg – that you will take the time to use the online action portal at www.nopowergrab.com.au and then call your MP and Senators on call Parliament on (02) 6277 7111 to demand fair funding.
It doesn’t matter if you support or oppose the referendum. What they are planning to do is just plain wrong, and I hope you will join me in standing up to it.