The Case for Transparent Funding and Better Regulation of Political Parties
The Conversation, 2011
4 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2019
Date Written: September 7, 2011
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.
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