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Political donations make for dangerous perception game

Amy Remeikis writes in the Brisbane Times (4.3.16) about the issue of political donations continuing to cast a cloud over politics at all levels in Queensland. She cites comments from TJ Ryan Foundation research associate, Paul Williams, arguing that Queensland would do well to follow the New South Wales example of banning donations to political parties from property developers.

‘The politics of perception – it’s delicate, it’s public controlled and it’s something politicians still struggle to understand let alone master.

‘Just a whiff of scepticism is all it takes to turn voters on an issue.  And nothing can turn them as quickly as the perception a political donation has led to an advantage for the donor.

‘Politicians will often fall back on the “we followed the rules” line. In most cases, they have.

‘But the black and white of political donation rules doesn’t take into account the shade perception brings to the issue – and how that can colour an issue.’

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