Money is essential for electoral politics, yet its abuse often raises problems of graft, corruption and cronyism.

A new report by the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) on Checkbook Elections, compares how campaign finance is regulated in 11 countries, including Indonesia, India and Japan.

“Money in politics is a major challenge in many countries today, so it is vital that we learn lessons from around the world concerning the most effective policies regulating transparency, contribution limits and spending caps, and public funding,” said EIP Director Pippa Norris, ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and the Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Harvard Kennedy School.

Checkbook Elections documents laissez-faire political financing policies in South Africa, Sweden and India, while Brazil, Indonesia and Russia are more interventionist. But, it warns, more legal control is not necessarily better at reducing corruption and malfeasance.

EIP has also partnered with Global Integrity and the Sunlight Foundation, to release new data on political financing integrity in over 50 nations, for the Money, Politics and Transparency project (MPT).

The data, accessible here, reveal that Australia (23) ranks worse than Japan (21) and Thailand (22) for political financing integrity, but better than other Asian nations, including Indonesia (25), India (42) and Malaysia (50).

More information: Checkbook Elections, detailed case studies, and the Political Finance Indicators, are available at Details about the project are also at

Download Checkbook Elections report 


Media enquiries:

Luke O’Neill: (02) 9114 1961; 0481 012 600,

Lisa Fennis, Project Coordinator, Electoral Integrity Project: (02) 9351 5085;

Andrea Abel van Es, Money Politics and Transparency Project Manager,


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