Electoral finance: the principles III – equal money for equal influence
Posted on 06:00, February 4th, 2009 by Anita
Why would someone give $100,000 to a political party? Because they know that money makes a difference in politics, even if they don’t want a personal pay back, they believe that the money will help the party advance its agenda.
One of the principles of democracy is described as “one person one vote”, which is to say each voter should have equal influence. If money can help buy a party influence, then the amount of money each person can given to political parties should be equal. This requires capping political donations to a level everyone can afford, which is going to be pretty low.
The usual counter argument is that I’m suggesting restricting free speech, but I’m not. Everyone can speak as often as an loud and as enthusiastically as before, what they can’t do is buy political influence: that’s not free speech.
Principle III: equal money for equal influence – individual’s donations to political parties should be capped at a level every voter can afford.