Joelith's Journal

Corporations should get the vote

Wednesday 26th April, 2006

Why do you vote? You vote for 2 reasons:

1) You pay taxes and thus have a right to say how your tax dollars are spent
2) You are held accountable to all laws and thus should have a say on what laws there are and their associated punishments

Corporations pay taxes and are accountable to a variety of laws and punishments yet they have no direct say in how their tax dollars are spent nor any say on the laws concerning them.

A left wing view would say that Corporations pay taxes because the taxes are to pay for the right to act as a company and make money off the people. But that is a very communistic viewpoint. Corporations help our economy along and provide large numbers of jobs and pay for the majority of society's wages. If it was not for Corporations then Australia would be as poor as Communistic regimes such as Cuba and North Korea (ignoring China which has a free market).

So why can't a corporation vote. Currently if a Corporation wants a say on a law then it can attempt to 'buy' a politician. As a society we don't like this, as it can corrupt the politicians vote on other issues and makes normal votes worthless. But if a Corporation could vote then there would be less need to buy a politician.

Corporations play a larger and larger part in the Australian way of life. It may be a bit hard to see here in Canberra with our multitude of Government departments, but out in the 'real' world Corporations are the life blood of communities. Take for instance Young which has two major Corporations - National Engineering and the Young Abattoirs. They employee a large part of the town and contribute greatly to the tax revenue of the town. But they can have no direct say on how to spend this taxes. This is unfair.

How this will be implemented I still have to work out. We need to ensure that people can't make a Corporation with the sole desire to get an extra vote.

Now if this doesn't get comments I don't know what will.

3 Responses

QueenBee
26th April 2006

Goal achieved - you finally made me want to comment enough to sign up!!

So here's my $1, 000, 000 worth [2 cents is just not enough :o) ]

Corporations are just a group of shareholders, now each of these shareholders are citizens therefore they individually have the right to vote. So by allowing corporations to vote, you are essentially allowing the shareholders double the voting power which undermines the whole point of democracy where every person has exactly the same amount of say as the next!

I do agree that stoping corporations from buying politicians would probably make the whole government more worthwile. But all that would do is allow another "entity" to step in, such as an industry representative body to do the same thing. So it doesn't really solve the problem at all.

well i've lost my train of thought now so that's it

Joelith
26th April 2006

I'm glad I finally got you to comment.

The problem with saying that shareholders should use their private vote to vote for the benefit of the company is that they may wish to vote differently then the company. A person may wish to vote for a candidate that is planning on lowering individual taxes (at the expense of company taxes) but the company may wish to vote for another that will benefit them.

I never said that a corporation would get more than one vote. So each shardeholder would only be able to vote on how the company would vote with their portions of shares.

An individual should not have to decide between their private and company vote and rights. They are two distinct votes

Crispy
04th May 2006

Pffft

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