Current Laws in Other Countries
Over 100 countries ban foreign donations, why haven’t we?
According to the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), 114 countries ban donations from foreign interests – but Australia is not one of them.
It’s not just small nations that have banned foreign donations. Here are the laws of some of our major allies such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Canada’s Elections Act regulates the operations and donations of all political parties including foreign third parties.
Section 358 of the Act states that no party shall use a contribution for advertising purposes if it is from a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident; a corporation or an association that does not carry on business in Canada; a trade union that does not hold bargaining rights for employees in Canada; a foreign political party; or a foreign government or an agent of one.
United States’ Federal Election Campaigns Act unambiguously prohibits foreign nationals contributing any funding or meeting any expenditure for the purposes of elections.
According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the following groups and individuals are considered “foreign nationals” and are, therefore, subject to the prohibition:
- Foreign governments;
- Foreign political parties;
- Foreign corporations;
- Foreign associations;
- Foreign partnerships;
- Individuals with foreign citizenship; and
- Immigrants who do not have a “green card”
Donations in the UK are regulated by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. Under the act, only British citizens registered on the UK electoral roll and companies that are registered and incorporated in the UK or a European Union member State trading in the UK can donate.
Our major democratic allies all ban foreign donations yet Australia continues to lag behind by international standards. Sign the petition to safeguard Australia’s democracy from foreign interests!