The funding of political parties and voting campaign committees must be more transparent. The National agreed Thursday, by 136 votes to 57, to discuss a counter-project to the popular initiative on the subject.
The initiative “For more transparency in the financing of political life” wants to force the parties to communicate each year their balance sheet and their income statement, as well as the origin of all donations with a value greater than 10,000 frank.
Individuals and committees, who spend more than 100,000 francs on a campaign, should also communicate their overall budget and large donations received. The Council of States has already rejected the text in favor of a less strict project: it has set the bar for donations at 25,000 francs per person per year, and the threshold for campaigns at 250,000 francs.
Rising against an “uncontrollable bureaucratic monster”, the SVP opposed the text. The project will not bring any transparency and no added value, denounced Michaël Buffat (UDC / VD). On the contrary, it will be difficult to assess what goes into a candidate’s campaign or not. Should an article about a candidate be considered a donation in kind?
Someone has the right to donate without everyone knowing they have money and what their political orientation is.
Michaël Buffat, national advisor (UDC / VD)
The Vaudois again criticized an attack on the private sphere. “Someone has the right to make a donation without everyone knowing that they have money and what their political orientation is.” In addition, a campaign cannot be won with money. And “the Swiss people can form an opinion without an expensive campaign”.
“Who pays orders”
“Large donations can create relationships of dependence”, opposed Nadine Masshardt (PS / BE). “Who pays orders”, abounded Ada Marra (PS / VD), recalling an old adage. The people have the right to know who has interests in a party.
A democracy cannot claim to be one of the best in the world if its functioning is not transparent, underlined Irene Kälin (Verts / AG).
The people demand more transparency in the political sphere.
Damien Cottier, national advisor (PLR / NE)
“This is neither an inquisition, nor a witch hunt, but simply to respond to changes in society,” said Michel Matter (PVL / GE). “Who can be morally against more transparency?”
“The population demands more transparency in the political field”, stressed Damien Cottier (PLR / NE) for the commission. We have to take a step in this direction and thus strengthen confidence in the political system.
In the end, only the UDC and part of the PLR rejected the entry. The debates are continuing.