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Congress raised the cap on how much an individual can donate to political parties in its spending bill that just passed last week, giving wealthy Americans a greater voice in elections. Shutterstock

Lawmakers show indifference to Americans' needs by gutting campaign finance caps

The political system’s indifference to the needs of the American people could not have been made clearer in recent days. At a time when economic inequality is increasing and the US racial divide is ever…
To find a revolution in campaigning comparable with micro-targeting you have to look back beyond the ‘Kevin 07’ online pitch to Gough Whitlam’s 1972’s TV-driven ‘It’s Time’ triumph. AAP/Dan Peled

Big Data meets doorknocking: the political contest’s new frontier

Australian election campaigns are facing another revolutionary change, which has the potential to transform the electoral contest, redefine campaign funding and even revive political parties. The “micro-targeting…
Clive Palmer was criticised by Tony Abbott for ‘trying to buy seats’ in federal parliament through a huge advertising spend at the recent WA Senate election. AAP/Dave Hunt

The WA Senate election and the rise of money in Australian politics

The issue of political party spending featured prominently during the Western Australian Senate re-election in a manner that we are rarely, if at all, accustomed to in Australian politics. This time, it…
It’s set to be a big few months for the High Court of Australia. What are the key cases to watch? petelawley

The High Court – coming to a Centre Stage near you

In coming months, the High Court – the highest court in Australia and the final arbiter on the meaning of the Constitution – will decide several high-profile cases. These decisions, which may result in…
All Australians should have a right to fulfill their democratic duty this Saturday, regardless of wealth or status. AAP/Dean Lewins

Election 2013 Essays: The state of Australian democracy

Election 2013 Essays: As the federal election campaign draws to a close, The Conversation asked eminent thinkers to reflect on the state of the nation and the challenges Australia – and whichever party…
Follow the money: the US may not be perfect, but Australian campaign finance laws need tightening. EPA/Erik S. Lesser

Think the US electoral system is flawed? Check out Australia’s …

In the run-up to today’s presidential election, President Barack Obama received just over $632 million in candidate contributions. Want to know who from? These direct, individual donations (known as “hard…
In the US, corporate personhood has enabled corporations to exercise undue influence on the electoral process. takomabibelot

Revenge of the PACMan: how corporations are eating away at US democracy

A Supreme Court ruling in 2010, designed to clarify the parameters of free speech, has created a monster. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission made much of corporate rights. It paid significantly…
There should be more regulation of third parties to help preserve Australian democracy. AAP/Alan Porritt.

Big money politics: why we need third party regulation

MEDIA & DEMOCRACY: In the latest instalment of The Conversation’s week-long series on how the media influences the way our representatives develop policy, Marian Sawer examines the need to regulate…
Too much regulation of third parties like GetUp! will hurt democracy. Paul Miller AAP

Power imbalance: why we don’t need more third party regulation

MEDIA & DEMOCRACY: In the latest instalment of The Conversation’s week-long series on how the media influences the way our representatives develop policy, Andrew Norton says there’s no need to regulate…

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