Democracy and Disclosure: Electoral Systems and the Regulation of Political Finance
Election Law Journal, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 325-346, 2008
Posted: 11 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 10, 2012
This article argues that a democracy’s regulations governing the disclosure of campaign and political finance depend on the country’s electoral system. Specifically, the likelihood that disclosure regulations for competitors in legislative elections extend to individual candidates (and not simply political parties) depends on how much voting and vote-counting procedures allow voters to determine the order in which a party’s candidates get elected. These electoral rules affect the degree to which individual candidates become objects of attention and/or active competitors in elections and thus also the “demand” for the revelation and control of candidates’ political finances. The argument extends the theoretical literature on electoral systems and the “candidate-centeredness” of elections and predicts a pattern of democracy and disclosure, the implications of which include variability in the availability of candidate-level information. A detailed survey of the political finance disclosure regulations for 44 countries — the most comprehensive analysis of these regulations to date — shows they relate strongly to electoral systems.
Keywords: Campaign finance regulations, campaign finance disclosure, electoral systems
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation