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Appendix E—Comparison of international political financing schemes

Table E.1       Comparison of international political financing schemes

 

Election funding

Administrative/
ongoing funding

Disclosure requirements

Threshold

Caps

Bans

New Zealand

Yes

 

Primarily in the form of allocation of broadcast time

No dedicated scheme

 

 

Yes

 

Political parties, third parties and candidates are all subject to separate disclosure requirements

 

 

 

$1 500

 

Third parties only have to submit disclosure returns if they spend over $100 000

No general caps

There is a maximum amount for ‘protected donations’ that can be received by political parties

Expenditure of political parties, third parties and candidates is also capped during defined periods

Yes

 

Anonymous donations to candidates and political parties over $1 500 are banned

Overseas sourced donations to candidates and political parties over $1 500 are banned

Canada

Yes, reimbursement scheme

Yes

Yes

$200

Yes

Political donations are capped

Third party and political party expenditure are capped

Yes

Political donations are banned from all entities apart from individuals that are citizens or permanent residents of Canada

United States

Yes

Subsidies for presidential candidates, contingent on agreement to limit campaign expenditure

Election funding for new and minor parties

No

Yes

Candidates, party committees, and political action committees have disclosure obligations

$200

Yes

There are a complex set of contribution limits applicable to each political participant

Yes

Donations from corporations; labour organisations; federal government contractors and foreign nationals are banned

 

Election funding

Administrative/
ongoing funding

Disclosure requirements

Threshold

Caps

Bans

United Kingdom

No

Yes

 

Some funding for opposition parties

 

Policy Development Grants (maximum £2m per year, shared between eligible parties)

Yes

 

Political parties, candidates, MPs and third parties all have separate disclosure requirements

For political parties:

Donations over £7500 to the central party (including aggregation of multiple donations from same donor)

Donations over £1500 to accounting units (constituent or local office) (including aggregation of multiple donations from same donor)

For candidates:

Details of all donations over £50 and all impermissible donations must be disclosed

For MPs:

Disclose all donations and loans and impermissible donations

For third parties:

Must register if intend to spend more than £10 000 in England or £5 000 in Scotland.  Cannot spend more than this if not registered

No donation caps

 

Expenditure caps apply to political parties, candidates and third parties

Yes

 

Anonymous donations over £500 are banned and must be returned

 

Donations over £500 can only be received from permissible donors as defined in the legislation

 

Source        Prepared based on material from the Electoral Commission websites: Elections New Zealand <http://www.elections.org.nz>, Elections Canada <http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx>, Electoral Commission (United States) <http://www.fec.gov>, and Electoral Commission (United Kingdom <http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk>

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