Superb Electoral Finance Reform Submission

I’ve been sent a copy of a superb 85 page submission on the Government’s Electoral Finance Reform process.

It’s been authored by four young lawyers and law students and the quality of their research and arguments is first class – they have 157 citations in the submission and make a strong argument for a lightly regulated system. I don’t agree with them, of course, on every point but I admire the scores of hours of work that must have gone in to produce such an excellent submission.

They make a strong case for anonymous political speech, citing important political works published under a pseudonym such as the famous Federalist papers published by Publius. Actual authors turned out to be 4th President James Madison, 1st Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and 1st Chief Justice John Jay.

On spending limits, they make the point that Obama outspent McCain by $397 million but there are no indications that US citizens think this made Obama’s election unfair.

I won’t do the paper justice by trying to summarise it, but I would recommend those with an interest in this issue read it. You won’t agree with all of their positions, but I hope like me you’ll regard it as a wonderfully well researched and argued submission.

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