Asset disclosures by politicians are a step in the right direction, but not enough. Donations to political parties should also be publicly declared.
That’s because such donations (whether in cash or in kind), especially by tycoons and big corporations, can influence political decisions possibly to the detriment of the people.
A reader left this comment on the Aliran website:
Should not all political parties as well be required to declare the sources of their incomes, their assets and liabilities, and especially those related to elections?
Should not all donors (irrespective of the size of their donations) to political parties also be listed and their identities published for all to scrutinise?
Only when a comprehensive approach to tackling political graft is adopted and enforced – which includes money raised and spent by political parties – will the twin scourge of corruption and undue political influence be curbed.
A public register of the audited states of income and expenditure statements and balance sheets of the various political parties, along with notes showing the breakdown and identity of political donors should be displayed.
In this way, voters will have a better idea of which party (and which big company!) they are voting for.