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Epilogue

Between Magic and Deceit

Günter Frankenberg

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Comparative Constitutional Studies

Between Magic and Deceit

Günter Frankenberg

Comparative Constitutional Studies takes a rich area of research and teaching and makes it attractive for the classroom setting and beyond. Every constitution has an interesting story to tell, and for this book Günter Frankenberg has selected vibrant examples that encourage readers to practice realism, demonstrate critical spirit and examine the dark side of framers’ reports and normative theories.
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Edited by Gary Jacobsohn and Miguel Schor

The need for innovative thinking about alternative constitutional experiences is evident, and readers of Comparative Constitutional Theory will find in its pages a compendium of original, theory-driven essays. The authors use a variety of theoretical perspectives to explore the diversity of global constitutional experience in a post-1989 world prominently marked by momentous transitions from authoritarianism to democracy, by multiple constitutional revolutions and devolutions, by the increased penetration of international law into national jurisdictions, and by the enhancement of supra-national institutions of governance.
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Vicente Chua Reyes Jr

This chapter addresses one main question: in the face of 21st century challenges typified by population decline, rising income inequalities and a steadily growing clamour for political liberties, how does the historically dominant People’s Action Party (PAP) craftily negotiate a crisis narrative alongside electoral manipulation to consolidate its position? This chapter deliberately puts recurring crises narratives alongside political finance and party funding manipulation that are uniquely intertwined in the Singapore context. In interrogating this broad query, three specific questions are answered: (1) What are the features of a city-state, controlled by a hegemonic party, particularly in relation to its electoral processes? (2) What was the crisis and the remedy sought by the city-state? (3) How does the response to the recurring crisis reflect on the electoral processes, specifically the funding and campaigning arrangement? The concluding section provides an explanation as to how the dominant PAP uses a crisis narrative alongside electoral manipulation in order to consolidate and legitimize its role.

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Felix-Christopher von Nostitz and Giulia Sandri

The chapter outlines the cost and funding possibilities for party primaries. It especially focuses on how states might facilitate or hinder the use of party primary elections through either direct or indirect funding regulations. The chapter first outlines the different costs of primaries and how they can vary depending on the type of contest and the manner of its organization. The second part of the chapter outlines the regulatory environment and its consequences for intra-party democracy for the cases of Italy, the US, the UK and Germany. It shows that finance regulations are at the heart of determining if primaries are used or not and whether or not they positively affect intra-party democracy. The chapter demonstrates how the funding of primaries can have an impact on intra-party power distribution as it determines who has control over finance.

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Maxime Pelletier

While the impacts of public funding to political parties have been studied extensively, the question of why public funding measures are adopted in the first place has attracted less attention from scholars. In this chapter, the predictions of two important contributions to this field will be evaluated in light of the Canadian case. In addition to those of the cartel theory, the propositions developed by Michael Koss in its monograph The Politics of Party Funding (2011) will be considered. Cartel theory and Koss’s arguments are quite different, but they have in common a focus on the role of cooperation between the major political parties in the introduction of some forms of public funding regime. However, as the present case shall demonstrate, cooperation is not a necessary condition for public funding to be significantly expanded or cut back. On the contrary, when veto points are minimal and the salience of the issue of public funding is high, Canadian political parties have shown a willingness to reform the party finance regime without securing a consensus on the issue and, at times, against their own financial interests. The chapter analyzes the main elements of the party finance reforms with a focus on the competitive effects of the changes and the position adopted by political actors each time the topic surfaced on the agenda. It then examines the factors which have allowed the reforms to take place despite a lack of consensus between the parties. The chapter concludes with what the study of the Canadian case may contribute to the theoretical knowledge of the adoption of public funding to political parties.

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Danielle May

Party funding regulations are often implemented with the main objective of improving flailing public trust in political institutions. This is not an easy task. It appears that citizens are uncomfortable with parties that are funded by special interests or public subventions yet are unwilling to contribute their own money as an alternative. How, then, can political finance legislators design the optimal regulations to regain citizen trust? First, we need to know whether different sources of party funding actually have an empirical effect on public opinion, and if so, in what direction. Despite common assumptions of a relationship between party funding and citizen trust, the link has not been adequately explored. This chapter posits that this might be due to a major shortcoming: by focusing on regulations, studies overestimate public knowledge of political finance. To counter this deficiency, the chapter focuses on party funding proportions. Even though citizens are largely unaware of particular regulations, they may have a general sense of how parties in their country generate money. Using multiple regression analysis, a relationship is established between trust in parliament, and three party revenue streams – public funding, private contributions and membership fees. The analysis is based on data from 1980 to 2014 in four countries: Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany. The findings suggest that public funding implemented with effective anti-cartelisation conditions improves public trust in political institutions.

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Victor Shale

It is axiomatic that the existence of political parties and their active participation is one of the key ingredients for representative democracy. The irony of the democratisation process is that, this notwithstanding, there is talk of building democracy without equally important discussion on how political parties can be capacitated by way of skills development and financing in order for them to contribute to the process. Where reference is made to political parties it is often about them and without their inputs. This chapter looks at political party financing in terms of the opportunities and challenges entailed in regulating party financing in Africa. Using the case studies of Lesotho and Mozambique, the chapter argues that while financing challenges are country specific, their causes are common to most countries. The chapter borrows from Hopkin’s mass party–cartel party models explanation of the causes of party financing problems including problems related to the regulation. This framework finds that party financing from the sources based on traditional political participation of the members of society has been attenuated by the emergence of new and often sophisticated forms of participation which have led to the emergence of cartel party systems which are highly dependent on state financing. The finding from Lesotho and Mozambique indicates that while public funding of parties is a good consociation mechanism, regulation and enforcement raises problems. The chapter contends that public funding of parties in these countries, and by extension elsewhere in the continent, has led to a proliferation of office-seeking parties instead of policy-seeking ones. Governing parties and coalitions remain dominant against enfeebled opposition parties. It therefore concludes that there is a need to put in place comprehensive regulations governing political parties’ activities as well as setting up of clear horizontal and vertical accounting mechanism for the public funds used for political party financing.

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Susan E. Scarrow

This chapter examines how political finance rules may be used to promote normatively-desirable patterns of political influence and participation. For instance, they may be used to reduce economically based political inequalities, or to protect citizens’ political privileges vis-à-vis other actors. The chapter uses data from International IDEA to illustrate how democracies employ such regulatory tools. Finally, it explores ways to measure how such rules affect financial participation in politics, considering experiences in the UK, Ireland and Canada.