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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Corporate Political Contributions in Canada: Practices and Perspectives

Report by Nancy Averill, Bill Neville

The purpose of this report by Averill and Neville is to improve to the overall understanding of current corporate practices on political contributions, and to contribute to the current debate on proposed legislation to reform the system of political contributions. Averill and Neville note that while corporations have been a traditional source of funding for political activity, corporate contributions have increasingly come under public and media scrutiny. They suggest that public concern over money-buying influence was a factor in the introduction of new election financing legislation.

Averill and Neville address a number of issues related to corporate political financing: why some corporations make political contributions and some do not; what processes corporations use to establish policies on political contributions; the types of contributions corporations make; and, the benefits corporations believe they gain by making, or not making, political contributions. An important part of this study is a survey of corporate opinion regarding proposed changes to election financing legislation, changes that have gone into effect since the article was written. Based on their study, Averill and Neville find that some corporations have developed specific political contribution policies that are aligned with strategic investment, budgeting, and marketing strategies, while others address political contributions on a case-by-case basis. Some have a policy of not making contributions at all.

The authors conclude that, whatever decision is reached within a given corporation about making political contributions, corporations are on their own in determining what impact such actions might have on industry standards or public expectations, as there is no comparative information on how these decisions are perceived.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Nancy Averill; Bill Neville;
Publisher: Public Policy Forum [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2003; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Political Party Contributions
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Political Party Contributions / 2003
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement

Keywords / Tags:

election financing; election financing legislation; political party contributions; corporate political financing; corporate contributions;