Regulating 'Third Parties' as Electoral Actors: Comparative Insights and Questions for Democracy

(2015) 4 Interest Groups and Advocacy 249-271

University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper

Posted: 7 Oct 2015

See all articles by Anika Gauja

Anika Gauja

The University of Sydney

Graeme D. Orr

The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law

Date Written: October 6, 2015

Abstract

This article compares the legal regulation of ‘third parties’ as actors in electoral contests across four common law parliamentary democracies: the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. In comparing the third-party regulatory regime to that of political parties, the article offers insights into what legislative provisions reveal about the ‘nature’ of third-party actors, the activities they perform and how the law conceives of them as electoral and political participants. The final section of the article compares the scale of third-party spending in all four democracies, and examines who is doing the spending and how this compares with political party spending. We argue that although regulation has intensified in some democracies and has normative justification in both electoral exceptionalism and egalitarian theory, it faces both constitutional and pragmatic hurdles.

Keywords: Political Campaigning, Third Parties, Election Law, Election Campaigns, Freedom of Political Speech

Suggested Citation

Gauja, Anika and Orr, Graeme, Regulating 'Third Parties' as Electoral Actors: Comparative Insights and Questions for Democracy (October 6, 2015). (2015) 4 Interest Groups and Advocacy 249-271, University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2670361

Anika Gauja

The University of Sydney ( email )

Graeme Orr (Contact Author)

The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
364
PlumX Metrics