Campaign financing rules

For classical republicans the purpose of politics is to promote the public good (res publica) and classical republicans abhor the influence of private interest in politics. In particular the ability of more affluent citizens to use their wealth to control the political process is a great concern and is considered a treat to liberty.

Because of this we are in favour of strict regulation of campaign funding. It should be prevented that wealthy interests could influence elections and referendums in the way they like. Therefore we have several proposals to counteract this influence:

  1. Only natural persons, i.e. people of flesh and blood, could donate money to political campaigns;
  2. Foreigners should not allowed to donate to political causes (in order to guarantee national sovereignty);
  3. Anonymous donations should be banned, i.e. political movements should make public from whom they receive money;
  4. People should only be allowed to donate a fixed amount of money to political campaigns each year, regardless of income;
  5. There should be a spending limit per campaign on what each side is allowed to spend on advertisement and the like.

The first rule is necessary in order to prevent that wealthy citizens will circumvent rule 4 by creating multiple juristic persons. The third rule might sound controversial, since it might deter people from supporting “fringe” groups. But people who seek to influence the political process should be do so in public, so they can be held accountable.

3 thoughts on “Campaign financing rules”

  1. A subset of this topic could be “campaign duration.” In Australia, at least, the election must be held within 3 months of the PM calling a general election. Sometimes it is the full 3 months, other times as little 6 or even 4 weeks. The set time limit serves the purpose of decreased interruption, and focused campaigns. It’s not perfect, but it works better than the US system which seems to be a perpetual state of electioneering.

    1. Agreed, the election season is now continuous in the U.S. and that has had the effect of supplanting necessary policy debates with meaningless political debates.

      Also, the campaign financing rules proposed in this post are very good IMO.

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