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The polycentricity of political financing

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There is no one perfect system of political financing. The design and development of public policies to regulate the sources of funding for candidates and political parties and their permissible expenditures are influenced by a myriad of mutually reinforcing and, at times, opposing considerations. Political financing regulation constitutes a quintessential form of polycentric decision-making, whereby each design component is connected to every other in ways not wholly understood. This essay draws on the political financing systems of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States to develop a typology of policy options and to examine how each choice relates to every other.

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