Products – The Centre for Independent Studies

Let Money Speak

Simon Cowan
25 April 2018 | PP2
Let Money Speak

The government’s proposal to ban foreign donations and limit political contributions from charities is a flawed and rash proposal that would undermine democracy. It purports to ‘protect’ the public from unsubstantiated threats to democracy from foreign donations and unregulated contributions to public debate. It is not clear that either of these threats are significant risks to the health of Australian democracy. At a minimum, little evidence has been provided to support these assertions.

However, even if such evidence was presented, the government’s proposed solution itself is a significant threat to the health of Australian democracy because it unduly burdens free speech and the right to freedom of political communication. It will lead to calls for greater public funding, and may hinder participation in public policy by organisations that rely on private funding instead of the taxpayer.

The better solution is to open debate up to as many ideas as possible so the competition of those ideas can sort out the best policies and thereby strengthen democracy. The government should abandon this Bill and consider repealing recent changes to the Electoral Act as well as removing restrictions that limit private funding

Latest Publications

The Philippines Caught between Appeasing and Constraining China: How Australia can help tip the balance
Renato Cruz De Castro
28 September 2021 | PP44

This paper examines the ongoing clash in the Philippines between government officials who favour appeasement, on the one hand, and those pushing for a policy of constrainment towards China in the South China Sea on the other – and how Australia can help tip the balance towards constrainment. Since taking office in 2016, President Duterte has consistently undermined the country’s…

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90 Days to Freedom? Why Australia can learn from Canada’s vaccination success
Robert Carling
18 August 2021 | PP43

Predictions have been made by the Doherty Institute and others that Australia will achieve full vaccination of 70% of the eligible population by the end of October and 80% by mid-November, thereby meeting the thresholds for liberalisation of restrictions set by national cabinet. Doubts that have been expressed about these predicted vaccination levels are unwarranted. Basic modelling and comparisons with…

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Crucial Collaboration: The Case for Closer Australia-UK Defence and Security Ties in Light of a Rising China
Tom Tugendhat
23 June 2021 | PP42

China’s rise is perhaps the single most significant geopolitical question of the next decade – indeed, the next century. The sheer scale of its economy and military, combined with an increasingly authoritarian regime under Xi Jinping, means that the Indo-Pacific lies at the heart of the China challenge. Growing militarisation and Chinese aggression are destabilising the region, whilst Beijing’s willingness…

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The MMT Hoax
Tony Makin, Gene Tunny
27 May 2021 | PP41

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a supposedly new macroeconomic paradigm, but it is essentially a reprise of 1930s Keynesian economics. Its central premise — that countries which can borrow in their own currencies should not worry about government deficits and can finance as much government spending as they want — is deeply flawed, yet it has political appeal and has…

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Does high-rise development damage neighbourhood character?
Peter Tulip, Zachary Lanigan
29 April 2021 | PP40

Local residents often oppose new apartment buildings on the grounds that they would harm neighbourhood character. This paper suggests these concerns are overstated. The paper examines several examples of high-rise development in Sydney: Chatswood, Forest Lodge, Green Square, Liverpool and Turrella. If these developments harmed neighbourhood character, as local residents often claim, nearby house prices should fall. But that does…

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