The Case for Transparent Funding and Better Regulation of Political Parties

The Conversation, 2011

4 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2019

See all articles by Joo-Cheong Tham

Joo-Cheong Tham

University of Melbourne

Graeme D. Orr

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

Date Written: September 7, 2011

Abstract

Political parties dominate Australian politics. Their centrality is often accompanied by cynicism about their role and purposes.

The perception often is that the principal role of political parties is to compete for power with self-interest their guiding compass.

This image can frequently come together with a view that political parties, engaged as they are in competitive struggles, should be subject to the barest of regulation.

After all, electoral contests are a primary means of channeling political party behavior.

There is, however, an alternative to this stark, free-market model of self-interested political parties: one that sees them as movements performing vital democratic functions (including but extending beyond their role in elections) and as organisations that are governed by both principle and pragmatism.

The observation that political parties are vehicles to gain political power is true, but only in part. What it obscures are the various democratic functions that parties ideally perform.

Suggested Citation

Tham, Joo-Cheong and Orr, Graeme, The Case for Transparent Funding and Better Regulation of Political Parties (September 7, 2011). The Conversation, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3313429

Joo-Cheong Tham (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

Graeme Orr

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

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

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