Election Funding

8 Years ago, I had written a post about how election funding is the root cause of systematic corruption in India and how it is impacting the decisions taken by elected officials and making them think short term & undertake populist measures only.

Today several political parties are pointing finger at how AAP is funding its election campaign. How foreigners (NRIs) and bogus entities are funding Arvind Kejrival to become a vehicle of imperialism etc. I don’t know if there are any merits to the case, but what I do know that Aam Admi Party has taken the bold first step towards transparent political funding. Every penny is accounted for and every source is disclosed.

Elections is a billion dollar industry and we have no idea how it is being funded, who is backing which candidate and for which nefarious reasons. I don’t remember the last time a national party disclosed the list of its prime donors. I might donate a candidate 1,000/- for ideological reason, some might even donate 100,000/- INR (USD 2,000/-) but nobody will donate a million without getting any deal in return.

Most advanced nations have enforced limits on how much an individual/group can donate and have set up transparent processes to disclose who is donating whom. Some countries reimburse the candidates for the election expenses. Whatever be the process it is high time we install some checks and balances to ensure that funding is the only reason why few good men don’t opt for Politics. BTW only in India politics is considered as a career stream.

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