Telcos splash political donations in Australia
Mactel and Optus donate over $AUD200,000, favouring conservatives
Two telecommunications companies, Macquarie Telecom and Singtel Optus, have appeared in the list of companies making donations to Australian political parties during financial year 2011/2012.
Macquarie Telecom donated $AUD135,500 , of which $88,000 went the conservative Liberal party and $45,500 to the governing Australian Labor Party.
Singtel Optus donated $70,750 to Labor, $38,890 to the Liberals and $8,500 to the National Party, which is in coalition with the Liberals, for a total of $118,140.
A quick analysis of overall spend suggests conservative parties out-fundraised Labor, by $135,390 to $ 116,250.
What the donors got for their dollars is harder to ascertain. Some donations are for trifling sums like $95, which suggests tickets for fundraising events rather than influence-peddling. Others are far larger: Singtel made a pair of $27,500 donations to the ALP and Macquarie sent $50,000 to the Liberals and $33,00 to Labor.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard launched a Macquarie Telecom's new data centre last year. But if Optus’ donations were made in the hope legislation would protect its shuttered cloud PVR service TV Now forthcoming spectrum auction on terms to its liking, that plan seems not to have worked.
Both carriers appear to be regular donors, to both sides of politics. Technology companies don't often feature in the lists of donors. Huawei has popped up a couple of times in recent years but no other major tech vendor makes this year's lists, or those dating back to 2008/2009.
Full lists of donors can be accessed here. ®
We have the best polical system that money can buy.
That is all.
Customer: "Can we have faster/cheaper internet please?"
Telcos: "Sorry but we are giving you the best experience we can provide - we can't afford better because of overseas data pricing and we make next to nothing at the end of the day blah, blah, blah..."
I guess this mantra is heard worldwide while telco's rake it in and hold their captive audiences to ransome whilst bleating poverty.
Also there should be some law introduced to actually ban donations from industry altogether. Democracy is there for the good of all people, not just for fatcats with a wad of cash.
Re: We have the best polical system that money can buy.
And it's always shocking just how cheap it is. It appears that you can get access to Senior Ministers and write legislation with a potential spend of hundreds of millions of dollars for merely splashing them a few tens of thousands.
The return on investment is staggering and yo don't even have to pick a side, you can buy both for less than the cost of a TV ad campaign.