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Flood them with letters


We have seven days to convince Labor to block the draconian Bill in its entirety. Today's mission is to flood Labor MP and Senator's offices with letters. Ready to go?

Write your letter today using the handy guide below, and either hand-deliver by Friday (if you can) or post by 6pm Wednesday. Find their office address by entereing your details in the form.

What do I write in my letter?

  • Introduce yourself and mention you're a constituent
  • Include the official title of the legislation we want Labor to block: Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017
  • Tell them to push Labor to block the Bill in it's entirety!

  • Reasons you could give about why you're concerned:
  • The Bill will have a huge impact on civil society — forcing charities and grassroots organisations to join a government register and follow complex new rules or face 10 years in prison.
  • It will trash our movement's proud independence by forcing GetUp to affiliate with one or more political parties.
  • It will choke off half of GetUp's funding by forcing anyone who donates more than $4.80 a week to get a formal document signed and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace.
  • This Bill only applies to civil society. For massive corporations and the fossil fuel lobby it's business as usual.

I can hand-deliver my letter. What do I say at the office?

1. Introduce yourself and mention that you're a constitutent
2. Ask to speak to your local MP or Senator (they probably won't be available)
3. Tell their staff:
  • You're very concerned about Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017
  • You want [your Labor MP/Senator] to push Labor to block the Bill in it's entirety
  • You have a letter for them and would like the office to pass it onto them as soon as possible
4. Thank them for their time — that's it!
The legislation that the Turnbull Government is trying to pass (the Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform Bill) undermines our democracy by:

  1. Creating an unfair playing field in lobbying and advocacy. Civil society and charities are gagged while multinational corporations continue to have a free reign to spend up big buying political influence.
  2. Creating an illegitimate restriction on international philanthropy. Some issues are global. Climate change and infectious disease are borderless – and human rights are a universal concern. It's perfectly legitimate for individuals or philanthropic foundations based outside of Australia to contribute to organisations inside Australia working to address these important issues. This legislation would prevent that. The Bill would also have a chilling effect on free political speech by forcing organisations to choose between international funding or political advocacy, with vague definitions of what constitutes advocacy, and harsh penalties (including up to 10 years in prison!) for getting it wrong.
  3. Attacking our fundamental democratic freedoms. The "GetUp clause" would rob GetUp members of their political independence by forcing GetUp to formally affiliate with one or more political parties, simply because of perceived policy similarities or shared campaign priorities. This is an attack on the right of GetUp members to engage in public discourse independent of any political party.
  4. Imposing significant compliance costs on charities. It forces charities to spend more of the donations they receive on administration rather than on the people they serve.
  5. Creating dangerous new subcategories for political campaigners and third party campaigners which creates two tiers of charities and paves the way for future draconian regulation.
  6. Gutting funding for small parties and campaigning organisations. The Bill forces donors to small parties and campaigning orgs to prove that their contributions are "allowable", by providing a statutory declaration stating that they are a citizen or permanent resident, if their contributions exceed $250 in a single year. This would capture people who donate as little as $4.80 per week. The penalties for not complying with this unreasonable regulation are excessive, involving massive fines and jail terms comparable to offences like arms trafficking. This would effectively gut funding for organisations that rely on large numbers of small donations,and would further advantage large donors and massive corporations.

The bottom line is that the Bill will do nothing to fix the problems it is supposed to – while massively restricting the ability of ordinary citizens to participate in democracy and have a voice in Australian politics. Worse, the problematic features of the Bill are so deeply embedded in its drafting that they can't be amended out of it. The Bill is fundamentally anti-democratic and must be rejected outright.

MISSION ACCEPTED!

Enter your details below to find your Labor MP/Senator's contact details. Don't forget to write down the address before pressing the button at the bottom of the form!


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