From the BBC:
“Most people” are in favour of ending the confidentiality surrounding donations to political parties in NI, focus group research has suggested.
It was conducted by the Electoral Commission, which recorded the views of eight groups around NI, each consisting of between six and eight people.
Unlike the rest of the UK, details of political donors are still kept secret in NI, because of security concerns…
This confidentiality clause is due to expire on 31 October 2010.
The Northern Ireland Office is expected to consult the public on whether the clause should end or be extended further before the end of this year.
The original decision to exempt Northern Ireland from some of the controls around political donations (allowing both foreign and secret ones) struck me as being one of those unfortunate messy compromises that life sometimes requires. In principle, exempting Northern Ireland was wrong, but in practice given the delicacy of bringing peace to Northern Ireland it was an understandable step to take.
Donation reporting started in Northern Ireland in 2007 and now it’s good to see though Northern Ireland politics headed towards taking another step toward normality.