Money, Politics and Transparency

Money, Politics and Transparency
is dedicated to improving political finance transparency around the globe.

Money, Politics and Transparency is a global forum that provides a rich set of resources intended for stakeholders working to improve political finance systems in their own country, including in-depth research, analysis and case studies on political finance practices, global transparency principles for monitoring political finance and a link to a network of like-minded advocates.

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October 27, 2015

New draft of Declaration on Political Finance Openness released

By Lindsay Ferris of Sunlight Foundation

In honor of the 2015 Open Government Partnership Summit, we are happy to release the newest draft of the Declaration on Political Finance Openness as part of the Money, Politics and Transparency project (MPT). MPT is a joint initiative between the Sunlight Foundation, Global Integrity and the Electoral Integrity Project, created to foster a network of national-level reformers by providing resources, such as in-depth research, analysis and global principles on political finance. Throughout 2015, we’ve been working to build consensus within the reform community on a set of global principles to ...

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September 17, 2015

How dark money is clouding South Asian politics

By Nuruddin Ahmed of Sunlight Foundation

The Money, Politics and Transparency project released indicators that evaluate political finance practices in 54 countries, including four South Asian countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Together, these four former British colonies house more than 1.6 billion people — almost one quarter of the world’s population. Unfortunately, both qualitative and quantitative data show that the quality of the legal framework for political financing in South Asia is well below the global average. South Asia exemplifies the major trends observed in the overall dataset and in political ...

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July 16, 2015

New resources from the Money, Politics and Transparency project expose money's troubling role in politics

By Lindsay Ferris of Sunlight Foundation

Today, the Money, Politics and Transparency (MPT) project, a joint-initiative between the Sunlight Foundation, Global Integrity and the Electoral Integrity Project, is excited to release a new set of resources that expose money’s troubling role in political parties and election campaigns globally. Our revamped Money, Politics and Transparency website now includes a first-of-its-kind dataset and series of case studies documenting campaign finance transparency practices globally. We are also fueling next steps for policy advocates through the release of the Declaration on Political Finance ...

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May 19, 2015

Join our efforts to support transparency reform in Chile

By Lindsay Ferris of Sunlight Foundation

Opportunities for substantial reforms in transparency and accountability are rare. These transformations are often the result of the careful mixture of endless hours of hard work in traditional advocacy, grassroots galvanizing, political will and, of course, a little bit of luck. And right now in Chile, a perfect storm of all these ingredients might be brewing. A political scandal last year where corporate executives were found to be illegally laundering corporate contributions to political candidates rocked the Latin American country with a reputation for being one of the strongest ...

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May 12, 2015

Do U.K. campaign laws miss the mark on transparency?

By Lindsay Ferris of Sunlight Foundation

All eyes were on the United Kingdom last week as polls leading up to Thursday’s election predicted that Labour might take back Parliament. That night, officials announced that the Conservative party led by David Cameron managed to win a surprising — and admittedly very slim — majority. Beyond these unanticipated results, this year’s election was markedly different for a few additional reasons. In some ways, campaign tactics mirrored American-style campaigning more than ever before, as political parties in the U.K. continue to hire campaign consultants from the U.S. and engage in ...

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April 22, 2015

From Ireland to South Africa, new reforms shine a light on political influence across the globe

By Lindsay Ferris of Sunlight Foundation

As part of Sunlight’s Money, Politics and Transparency project, we have been working to raise awareness about the influence of money on governance across the globe. In the process, we have recently discovered some resilient (and successful!) initiatives to help shine a light on the anonymous cash that's pouring into politics. Money and its potential for corrupting influence is often viewed as being at the core of political power structures. Disparities in funds can aid candidates in becoming elected officials or even institutionalize majority political parties such that they are synonymous ...

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March 30, 2015

OpenGov Voices: Advancing access to campaign finance data in Puerto Rico

By guest author Alvin Quiñones of Sunlight Foundation

As part of our efforts to promote transparency and open data in Puerto Rico, ABRE Puerto Rico this month received formal recognition and support from the Office of the Electoral Comptroller (OCE in its Spanish acronym) to publish campaign contribution data for Puerto Rico. In conjunction with this collaboration, ABRE Puerto Rico has created a new web-based tool that allows the public to search through individual political campaign donation information. We have placed our application in our portal at ABRE Puerto Rico's donation page, allowing any citizen to seek out contribution details by ...

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January 28, 2015

Snap Shot Germany: Gold dealings, but no gold standard

By Lindsay Ferris of Sunlight Foundation

There are a number of ways in which political parties and candidates can raise money. The traditional paths would be through donations – corporate or individual – and public funding. In Germany, the federal government spends around 130 million euros (around USD $150 million) every year on political parties. For most national-level parties, this makes up around one-third of their income. According to political finance laws, parties rely on public funding to pad a significant portion of their budgets. Germany’s AfD party (short for “Alternative fuer Deutschland" — "Alternative for Germany") ...

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January 23, 2015

Snap Shot Czech Republic: A tale of working Eastern European democracy

By guest author Jiří Skuhrovec of Sunlight Foundation

Petr Nečas was elected as the prime minister of the Czech Republic in 2010. Having a reputation of "Mr. Clean," he set the anti-corruption agenda as the main goal of his government. However, as a reformist leader within a party with strong ties to local godfathers, it’s not clear that his squeaky clean reputation holds up. In summer 2013, he was forced to resign due to a major corruption scandal, even though he still hasn’t been proven guilty. His case brought public attention to special interest groups behind the scenes who arguably use the government to control state-owned enterprises and ...

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December 19, 2014

In Japan, "fair" elections breed apathy and destroy competition

By Lindsay Ferris of Sunlight Foundation

Information about money in elections needs to be open and transparent -- this is a mantra you’ve heard before. But, here’s something new: in Japan, there may not be enough money in elections to make them competitive. In Sunday’s elections, the Liberal Democrats (LDP) retained their majority in parliament by a landslide, securing another four years in office for Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. However, the sweep of the self-proclaimed referendum of the current economic policy, “Abenomics,” doesn’t necessarily indicate a glowing endorsement of either the policy or the leadership. If anything, the ...

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