After joining a hardy (weather-proof) group of Green canvassers, including my dear parents, to meet the communities in Lusk and Loughshinny, headed to the Constituency Office in Rivermall, Swords, for cup and a sandwich. Then into Dublin City for a Green press conference in the RHA Gallery, Ely Place, to contrast the open, transparent way in which the Green Party is accountable for public and private money it receives compared to the clandestine habits of other parties.
It is bizarre to see no donations to Fine Gael or Labour were declared to the Standards in Public Office Commission in the last year while a modest €11,800 in donations was declared by Fianna Fáil. The Green Party made a fulsome disclosure of €46,552 in donations which are mainly donations from public rep. disposable incomes.
Yet the 3 main parties between them look set to spend €5 million on the campaign, enough to employ 150 people for a year on the average industrial wage. The Green Party looks set to spend €35,000 from HQ and candidates in almost 43 constituencies between them all about €200,000.
So why the secrecy, why the lack of accountability? The Council of Europe wants the full publication of political party accounts, independently audited, so does the Green Party / An Comhaontas Glas. As Eddie Hobbs might say, ‘Show us the money’!