Maybe it'll help, who knows. Petition in the link. (via GetUp! email)
A joint Four Corners and Fairfax Media investigation today revealed that in this country, there's politics for the highest bidder. The investigation has revealed a series of contacts between known and suspected criminals and senior politicians, with serious outcomes.
In one of the most serious of bombshells, in the mid 2000s suspected Mafia boss and hitman, Tony Madafferi, funded lobbying and donations to politicians in a bid to secure a visa for his brother - drug trafficker and ruthless Mafia criminal, Frank Madafferi. Madafferi and his associates met with several Liberal MPs, who in turn lobbied sucessive Immigration Ministers. In 2005, the then Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone, granted Frank a visa - in spite of suggestions from police that he might carry out acts of violence.1 (Just 18 months after the visa was granted to Frank Madafferi, he was implicated in the world's biggest drug importation scandal, and eventually charged with drug trafficking and conspiracy to murder.)2
But this is not a just story about the Mafia, or about Frank and his visa. It's a story about influence in politics, and the ugly mix of money and politics.
In the coming days, one of two things will happen: either there won't be much of a fuss and the politicians will go on with business as usual. Or enough people stand up and say 'I am sick of this – and any politician who turns a blind eye has lost my respect, my trust and my vote'.
Our political leaders are paying attention right now and their response all depends on what happens next. We need to call for politicians to clean up their act, and get money out of our politics.
As confidential police reports detail, there are "loopholes" that allow this to happen, allowing political parties and candidates to receive benefits that don't require disclosure.3
The problem is clear: today, a person or company can give unlimited amounts of money to a politician or their party. It's a dangerous mix: politicians want to raise huge sums of money so they can spend it on their campaigns to win elections or try to stay in power. For some politicians, receiving donations might not change their actions at all - or it might mean they shake a few hands, take a few meetings they otherwise wouldn't have. But for others, it means they spend their time trying to change government policy to favour their donors.
What is needed is a completely new set of rules that govern the relationship between politicians and money. The solution is simple, but its going to be hard work making change possible.
Here's what Australia needs to clean up its politics:
A cap on the amount of money that a person or a organisation can give to a politician or political organisation: so that a person cannot try to buy special treatment in politics,
The immediate public disclosure of donations, so that the media and the public know who is giving money to who. As the old saying goes - sunlight is the best disinfectant
Establishing a Federal Independent Commission Against Corruption: so that there's a watchdog with the authority and the teeth to find out when people have broken the law and make sure they face the consequences.
Winning these changes will be hard work. There are very powerful vested interests who want to see the system stay exactly as it is now; many of them who are likely to be in the halls of Parliament right now. But it's up to us to give them no choice.
For this campaign to stand a chance, tens of thousands of GetUp members across this country will need to stand together and push for a new politics. Are you with us? Click here to sign the petition.
These revelations are a result of a joint Fairfax and ABC investigation - and tonight, Four Corners aired their story on corruption in Australian politics.
If we do nothing this will all blow over – another scandal forgotten as 24/7 news cycles moves on to the next sensation. We've done the policy work to know what the solutions are, but they'll only become reality if we can break this issue out in a moment like this, and urge the public to step back and acknowledge our democracy is being corrupted by anyone with a large enough cheque book.
Right now the vested interests of the current game are mobilising behind the scenes to ensure nothing changes. They'll find a scapegoat, try and change the topic or shoot the messenger. Tonight we have to hold them to account.
This story has has today uncovered, but imagine how many more have gone altogether unreported, and will go unreported, until something changes.
Josh, Kelsey, Paul and the GetUp team
PS - Reporting the Madafferi case, investigative journalists McKenzie, Baker and Bachelard asked: "How many genuine refugees without criminal convictions never get help from a politician, let alone the support of several MPs?"
Let's build a movement of people who can make sure these MPs dodgy dealings are exposed, and more importantly that the system changes so that this sort of behaviour never happen again. www.getup.org.au/clean-up-politics
 Glad-handing and influence: mafia taking fast track to the powerful, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 June 2015
 'How the Mafia penetrated Australian Politics', Sydney Morning Herald, 29 June 2015
 'How the Mafia penetrated Australian Politics', Sydney Morning Herald, 29 June 2015+GetUp! Australia #auspol #corruption #getmoneyoutofpolitics #politicaldonations