"A limit of £10,000 should be placed on donations from any individual or organisation in any year to any political party with two or more elected representatives in Westminster or in any of the devolved legislatures.Personally, I am of the view that political parties should exist purely on donations from the public and from their members, thus the 'richest' political party would be the one whose views most resonated with the public.
The cap should apply to donations from all individuals and organisations, including trade unions. But it would be possible to regard trade union affiliation fees as a collection of individual payments, to which the cap applied individually, by requiring the individuals on whose behalf the payments are made to opt in to the fee. It would also be necessary to meet certain other conditions to ensure that undue influence cannot be exerted.
The existing limits on campaign spending in the period before an election should be cut by the order of 15 per cent.
Existing public support to the political parties should be supplemented by the addition of a new form of public support paid to every party with two or more representatives in the Westminster Parliament or the devolved legislatures. The public funding should depend on the number of votes secured in the previous election, at the rate of around £3.00 a vote in Westminster elections and £1.50 a vote in devolved and European elections. Income tax relief, analogous to Gift Aid, should also be available on donations of up to £1,000 and on membership fees to political parties."
Digressing slightly it is interesting to note that in Switzerland only two cantons, Ticino and Geneva since 1998 and 1999 respectively, have had legislation governing the disclosure of political donations. The canton of Ticino requires parties to report donations of over CHF 10,000 to the cantonal chancellery. The amount of the donation and details of the donor must be given. In the canton of Geneva, political parties are required to submit their accounts and the names of their sponsors every year to the cantonal financial inspectors. The Federal Council has dealt with several calls for increased transparency in the funding of political parties, including the motion by social democrat Max Chopard proposing "Increased transparency in the funding of political parties". It has rejected the demand for statutory regulation and advocated voluntary measures, on the grounds that there are many issues regarding implementation, enforcement, enforceability and sanctioning options. In addition it is felt that pressure from the state could make people less willing to become involved in political matters, and it is precisely this willingness that direct democracy draws life from.