And the politicians insist the money comes with no strings attached: it does not buy access or influence or favours or votes. But it does save taxpayers the cost of financing those election campaigns themselves.
Now the facade is slipping.
Like the government’s new independent parliamentary expenses authority – or a potential federal anti-corruption body – publicly funded campaigns would be another burden on long-suffering taxpayers.
But if we care about the integrity of our democracy we need to invest in it.
Simply put did Turnbull buy his primeministership? and who is he beholden to?