International experience

While lessons can be learnt from the experience of party funding elsewhere in the world, international comparisions make clear that there is no panacea for the UK’s party funding problems.

Broadly speaking, there are three contrasting ‘regimes’ of party finance in developed democracies. Borrowing the terminology used in Gosta Esping-Andersen’s  seminal study of welfare state regimes, we could label these as the ‘Nordic/Social Democratic’, the ‘Mainland Europe/Corporatist’ and ‘Westminster/Liberal’ regimes – see the link below for more explanation of this typology. We would suggest that the UK is currently a fairly typical example of the ‘Westminster/Liberal’ model and that it is very difficult to imagine how the UK could ‘leap’ from this regime type to another. 

Typology of funding regimes

Public trust in political parties

Lessons from Canada