As discussed in the body of the Report, there is a strong trend apparent in Australian jurisdictions to achieve electoral fairness and transparency by a combination of caps on electoral expenditure of political parties and candidates for election, the funding of electoral campaigning by political parties and candidates for election, the regulation of the extent of political donations, and timely transparency in the making of political donations.
Each jurisdiction has adopted, or is in the process of adopting, a combination of elements to achieve the objectives which is assessed by that jurisdiction to be the most suitable and effective to achieve those objectives in its circumstances. In the case of the Northern Territory, therefore, the Inquiry was a timely one.
The particular recommendations of this Inquiry, in relation to the Northern Territory, in some instances with suggested detailed implementation of the conceptual recommendations are as follows:
The Northern Territory should introduce a cap on electoral expenditure in elections, calculated by an allowance of $40 000 per endorsed candidate in the cases of registered political parties, and fixed at $40 000 for each unendorsed candidate (to be indexed).
The cap should apply to each political party and to each individual candidate which or who elects to participate in the public funding of the election (see B.1 below).
The more detailed recommendations for the implementation of the electoral expenditure cap are set out in section 5.2 of this Report.
The electoral process should be partly publically funded in election years, by the payment to each registered political party and to each unendorsed candidate of $8 (to be indexed) per first preference vote received by that candidate, provided that the candidate received at least 4% of the formal first preference votes in the electorate which that candidate sought to represent.
The availability of public funding to each registered political party and to each unendorsed candidate should depend on that party or candidate electing to participate in the public funding of an election.
The more detailed recommendations for the implementation and regulation of the public funding for each election are set out in Section 5.3 of this Report.