sedbon - Limor Edrey - January 26 2011
Yossi Sedbon Photo by Limor Edrey
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Moti Milrod
Amos Lapidot Photo by Moti Milrod

It is common for Big Business to donate to politicians during election season, usually choosing to support more than one candidate, just in case. Not only is that fickleness frowned upon: so is the sense of gratitude that the candidates might feel toward the donor.

The committee studying relations between big business and government, set up by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, is thinking of banning donations by a single person to more than one party in national elections, or to more than one candidate in internal party elections.

Also, to foil any possibility of donors having improper influence over elected officials, without impairing the public's right to influence the political echelon, the committee proposes that all donations above a certain sum be handed over to a special public body - a sort of blind trust. Each party would have one.

The blind trust would then hand over the money to the target candidate, without telling the candidate who the money came from. In other words, a businessman may support his pet politician, but without the politician knowing about it specifically. The blind trust would also advise the Tax Authority, by the way.

Naturally, the businessman could tell the politician about the donation. But the politician would have no way of verifying if it's true, just as he can't know who actually voted for him in the election itself.

Thus it becomes a lot harder to use your wallet to corrupt candidates.

Another aspect the committee is tackling is tenders. Government offices are supposed to issue public tenders for jobs, but it isn't rare for exemptions to the tenders rule. The committee frowns on these exemptions, which are also an opening for corruption and sweetheart deals between businessmen and pet politicians.