Political finance questions are squarely in the crossroads of political and governance issues in every society. The resources critical to successful elections simultaneously affect the integrity of public policy and the bond between the political leadership and the citizens. The legislative and regulatory process sanctioning campaign expenditures by political parties and candidates is one of those rare arenas of public policy where everyone engaged in the process of “reform” has the unique expertise provided by their own political campaigns.
“Political Finance Regulation: The Global Experience” is IFES’ effort to contribute to the dialogues concerning political finance which are the staple of election law reforms. Thanks to the support of the United Nations Democracy Fund, IFES has recruited some of the leading experts in the topic of “money and politics” to chronicle experiences in the effort to make assorted national political finance systems more transparent to all. This book is the result of more than two years of seminars, studies and conversations with partner organizations engaged in these debates around the world.
Our intention is not to prescribe “one size fits all” in political finance. Such an approach would be both naïve and impossible. Political finance legislation and regulation are the result of national experiences in campaigns and governance. Just as a citizen’s right to vote in elections in so many societies now are “observed” and “monitored” by the global community, there are now parallel efforts to appreciate and understand the financing of candidates, parties and politics so as to make the process more transparent to all. Thank you for your interest in this important arena of public policy and debate.
William R. Sweeney, Jr.
IFES President & CEO