The Democracy4sale project is an initiative of Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon on behalf of the Greens NSW. The Greens took a leading role in the campaign to reform political donations because we believe donations taint the democratic process - they allow big business to buy a level of access to politicians that ordinary people can't afford.
In 2002 then Greens MP Lee Rhiannon and Dr Norman Thompson, Director of the Democracy4sale project, began a small research project to classify the top donor companies by industry sector to see what influence political donations were having on the major parties. They estimated the project would take about 30 hours. Read about the project's history.
Ten years and thousands of research hours later the Democracy4sale project analyses all political donations made to the NSW divisions and Federal divisions of the major parties, and more recently local government in NSW, and presents this data to the public in a simple website that sorts donations to political parties by industry category. Search for donations or see our industry categories.
The success of the project has been the raised public awareness about the corrupting influence of political donations and the need for reform of the system, culminating in 2008 with the NSW Upper House Donations Inquiry and the undertaking by the Government and the Opposition to clean up donations. In February 2009 the Greens prepared a submission to the Senate Green Paperon donations reform.
The project has now developed to include an examination of the link between paid lobbyists and the donations they and their clients make to government and donations. Find out more about lobbyists.