The crusty old Australian constitution has Section 44, which is used to ensure that members of parliament do not have divided loyalty away from the good of Australia, towards a foreign power, instead of being honest representatives. At the time it was drawn up, international mining corporations with billion dollar budgets did not exist.
Corporate multinational budgets are bigger than the governments of many smaller nations. The purchase of Australia ministerial decisions by foreign corporations is an ongoing process that is allowed to proceed unchallenged and unchecked, and seems to be a major cause of failures and reversals of Australian climate policy for decades.
There is no other process that can account for the laggards of our Australia government political climate emergency. They have all been purchased. Members get assigned to ministerial positions according to the size of their donations book. Lobbyists get hearings according to the recency and amount of donations. Its a money competition. Biggest cheque book wins.
Oliver Yates, in this Reneweconomy article, describes how federal ministerial positions can be "setup" with rewards, by donations and rewards they personally get for their party.This is often for favours in exchange for donations linked to mining corporations. This is a direct breach of the spirit of the Australian Constitution for the prevention of purchased political decisions by foreign powers. Our chronic failures of taxation of foreign corporate profits also indicate that the Australian Federal Parliament is an institution whose legislation and regulations can be easily purchased by foreign interests.
As Oliver says - "Many politicians - even those with good intentions - are trapped in a system which cannot produce good government. Most are trapped in political parties with toxic cultures involving a highly unhealthy system of patronage and bullying."
It almost goes without saying that behind every weak or climate change denying minister is a successful donation book. - Oliver Yates
The basic role of politicians to act in our interests as representatives has been lost.
This process also explains the quality of people who get to be the key holders of ministerial positions. In the party dog fights sniffing order, the attractors of corporate donations get to have the key jobs, plus the party assigns them double their dollars, a process of "variable remuneration" on top of already generous taxpayer paid parliamentary salary. Not a great incentive for honesty, but it does pay for millions of dollars of election time advertising, supplemented by mining controlled mass media.
The most donation-eager dogs get the biggest bones. Money induces testosterone. Most of these backstabbing political hatchet-men are well known public figures. Corporate money pays for their policy tunes. Australian government is subverted by the well known corruption principles that are subverting democracy everywhere. Of course we live in a money driven culture, which accounts for the many current global crises of today. Exchange value trumps use and sustainability values. A federal government ICAC with transparency, ethics and teeth is long overdue.