Political party funding is essential for democracy

Some few days ago, the Minister of Finance, Peggy Serame delivered a Budget Speech to the nation. Within the Budget Speech, the minister availed P34 million to be used to fund political parties in Botswana.

The announcement of political party funding rekindled the old debate about the connection between funding of political parties as a way to enrich democracy in Botswana. In addition, Botswana’s opposition parties have always decried the fact that the political playing field in Botswana’s democracy is not level as the ruling party enjoys unfair competition as it has all the resources at its disposal. However, the announcement by the Finance minister on the need to fund political parties led to some people to question whether there was a need to fund democracy in Botswana.

People must understand that today, it is almost inconceivable to have a functioning democracy without political parties. A central claim of democratic theory is that democracy induces governments to be responsive to the preferences of the people. Political parties, therefore organise politics in every modern democracy, and some observers claim that parties are what induces democracies to be responsive. Political parties can and do serve a wide variety of functions such as aggregating and articulating interests, developing competing policy proposals that provide voice and choice, selecting candidates for elected office, organising legislatures, coordinating the formation and activities of government, recruiting and linking leaders and supporters and conducting electoral campaigns.

Editor's Comment
Let’s get the constitutional amendment right

Their concerns highlight the need for meaningful dialogue between government and relevant stakeholders to ensure the best interests of the country are served.This was in addition to other voices from opposition politicians and civil society organisations.The stance underscores the importance of citizen participation in the constitutional amendment process. The AFM rightly assert that such weighty matters demand thorough discussions to reflect the...

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