Day after, way ahead: After SC electoral bond verdict, time to clean up

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: Polity

Topic: Elections and RPA

Issue: Electoral Finance, Electoral Bonds

There is a need to reform the electoral finance.

Money and Elections:

  • studies have revealed the direct and indirect influence of money on electoral politics.
  • Lack of money can exclude candidates who belong to socio-economically weaker sections.
  • Legal dichotomy: the law only regulates contributions to political parties, not to individual candidates.
    • However, when it comes to expenditure, the law regulates the expenditure by candidates and not by political parties.
  • four key aspects that future regulation must tackle:
    • Regulation of donations,
    • expenditure limits,
    • public financing, and
    • disclosure requirements.

+1 advantage for mains:

Best practices from around the world:

·         The United States imposes restrictions on contributions based on the kind of donor.

·         The United Kingdom regulates expenditure, political parties are not allowed to spend more than certain amount.

·         In Germany parties receive public funds on the basis of their importance (based on criteria such as the number of votes received in the                last elections) in the political system.

·         The use of “democracy vouchers” in local elections in Seattle, US. Where, publicly funded vouchers were distributed among eligible               voters, who, in turn, donated them to the candidate of their choice.

Statement :

Money creates entry-barriers to politics by limiting the kind of candidates and political parties which enter the electoral fray – Supreme Court of India.

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