Friday, October 31, 2003
Bush is in the money
Interesting article in the Guardian today about the process of raising money for elections in the United States of America. It seems that "major donors of George Bush's election campaigns were the main beneficiaries of an $8 billion (£4.7bn) bonanza in government contracts for the rebuilding of Iraq." There is a lot of detail in the article including the finding that of the 70 US firms tracked, more than half of them, and nearly every one of the top 10 contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq, had close ties to Washington's political establishment or to the Pentagon. The study found that there was a clear tilt towards firms with Republican connections. I have written before about the dangers of raising large sums of money from companies and individuals so as to fight elections. Even if there is no impropriety the impression given is unfavourable and brings politics into disrepute. That is why we, in Britain, need to learn the lessons of America's financial gluttony and look to introduce state funding of political parties before it is too late.