Political Parties and Elections presents a comparative analysis of the ways in which advanced industrial democracies seek to regulate the activities of political parties in electoral contests. Actual political practice suggests that parties are crucial actors in democratic elections, yet the nature and extent to which parties are regulated, or even recognized, as participants in the electoral process varies greatly among nations. Author Anika Gauja analyzes the electoral laws of five key common law democracies with similar parliamentary and representative traditions, similar levels of economic and political development, yet with significantly different electoral provisions: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Using the relationship between law and politics as a lens, the book focuses specifically on the ways in which these jurisdictions seek to regulate the behavior of their political parties as the product of a broader normative vision of how representative democracy ought to function. In its subject matter, comparative scope, and interdisciplinary theoretical framework, this book examines not only electoral law but also ancillary legislation such as funding regulations, associations and corporations law, and constitutional provisions. It also analyzes the case law that guides the interpretation of this legislation. Political Parties and Elections represents an innovative body of research, comparing for the first time the electoral-legal regimes of a significant number of common law nations.
Anika Gauja is a Lecturer in Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, Australia and holds degrees in Economics and Law from the University of Sydney and a PhD in Politics from Cambridge University, UK. She is the co-author of Powerscape: Contemporary Australian Politics (Allen and Unwin, 2009).
'This is a book that needed to be written. The law in many countries is beginning to catch up with the reality that political parties dominate electoral politics and governance generally. As Anika Gauja ably shows, the regulatory choices taken in response to that fact have important implications for democracy generally.' Andrew Geddis, University of Otago, New Zealand 'This deep and timely work of comparative analysis combines political science learning and legal know-how. Gauja deftly charts the symbiotic relationship of political parties and the regulatory regimes governing them. This book will be of value to anyone interested in the roles played by parties, even outside the common law countries on which it focuses.' Graeme Orr, University of Queensland, Australia