Democratic regimes and representative institutions operate based on a free and fair populist vote. The amount of funding a party receives and the source of the funds can lead to mistrust. These political organizations play a crucial role in representative government. They are tasked with recruitment activities that involve nominating candidates for leadership positions, managing government operations once elected, and holding lawmakers accountable. A political system with low levels of civic trust often experiences disputed elections. Officeholders and political parties must be transparent and obedient to political activities surrounding financing. Following these laws and being responsive to the needs of the citizenry between elections help build trust in the political system.
The media, interest groups, and nonprofit organizations are all critical stakeholders in building political trust. These groups can reach numerous citizens with their messages surrounding the civic processes within the country. They can find innovative ways of rallying the citizenry to engage in political participation. These groups often have access to information that allows them to investigate the inner workings of party financing. This information helps them to hold politicians and parties accountable before and between leadership elections.
Money is an essential topic in political competitions. It is ubiquitous in politics as all the events require funding to happen. Election campaigns must reach millions of people, and political parties must fundraise to achieve this. Money is also needed to organize party events and sponsor supporting interest groups. Even though they are nonprofit, these organizations depend on financial resources to exist. Material resources are an advantage that makes the playing field uneven.
The more funding available to political groups, the easier it becomes to organize collective action. To sway influence, the voter political groups have to pay for advertising by getting in touch with journalists. The operations of political parties require staff members to run them. These political staff members need funding to rent and run offices. Therefore, the finances that political parties sourced and spent to fund civic competition are a critical part of democratic elections.
Raising political financing for civic campaigns has been a constant feature in democracies since the early times of representative democracy. Political leaders have always worked hard to develop a good base of resources that will allow them to sustain electoral campaigns for months and years. Financing political competition is complex because the funds should be transparent and help enhance the democratic process.
Without this financial accountability, the fundamental values of democracy are at risk. Many scholars have argued over the negative effect of money on politics. Many suggest that it is a necessary evil without an alternative.
Main Ways that Financial Resources affect Political Competition
Political Fundraising Encourages Political Participation
Citizens will only donate money to your political cause if they support your message. It is fair to say that donating money is a form of political participation. Citizens invest their money in the hopes that they will achieve the promises they made during the elective processes. There are different ways to donate. Some may provide the political party with time, and others may express their opinion. Political parties can also receive donations through support for their planned collective action. Donating money is often more significant than this because citizens have a stake in the process. As a political party, they are collecting membership fees and donations from supporters, giving them a sense of renewed political ownership. This process gives them a similar feeling to owning shares in a company. It helps the political parties to increase. The indirect consequence of this funding is that more people become willing to donate. Non-supporters will begin to trust the political cause, with activists donating more to election campaigns. More excellent financial resources show that the political party has many supporters, which translates to a perception of equal participation, freedom of expression, and financial accountability.
Political Finances Reflect Political competition.
Political capital allows political parties to recruit new members easier. Political candidates would often instead join a political party that is well-resourced. Access to these resources would improve their chances of being elected into public office. With recruits flowing in, political parties with financial resources have a better chance of shaping the political narrative in the country. They can convert and train current and future political leaders from different social backgrounds. With all these leaders preaching the same rhetoric, their message can travel further and be more politically inclusive. Candidates with fresh ideas coming into the party help keep the party renewed. These candidates can join the party, communicate with voters, and challenge traditional political elites. Competitive politics is vital for democracy; however, well-funded candidates are likely to win elections because they can quickly spread their message. This is why candidates could join a political party with a bigger war chest.
Some regulations apply to political financing; however, many political parties push their candidates by setting incentives for new competitors.
Money Buys Influence in Politics
Those who donate to a political party do so with the understanding that the parties and candidates will carry out specific objectives if elected. This caveat means that these political organizations are answerable to their donors. In some instances, political parties receive significant amounts from a single donor. This type of political participation via financial support is often heavily criticized as the candidates will pursue the agenda of their major donor. This problem gives donors significant power over political actors as opposed to the citizens and their organized interests.