Various governments around the world have sought to pass legislation regulating electoral campaigns, in particular their financial aspects. Electoral reform is high on the Australian Government’s agenda. In a Green Paper published in December 2008, the Australian Government canvasses some possible reforms to Australia’s electoral system, most especially in the funding area.1 These proposals to some extent mirror developments elsewhere. In this paper, I consider the specific suggestion that caps or bans should be placed on private funding of political parties. This policy suggestion is considered primarily from a constitutional point of view in terms of its validity. In so considering, comparisons will be made with other jurisdictions in which such reforms have been made, and political science issues pertinent to the discussion will also be considered. Much can be learned from experiences in this regard overseas.
Table of contents
- Outline of Green Paper Proposals
- Part A: Campaign Finance Regulation and Freedom of Speech
- Part B: Arguments in Favour of Limits on Donations/Campaign Spending
- Part C: Other Issues Relevant to the Constitutionality of Political Funding Reform