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New Report Looks at Campaign Finance Laws in Seven Countries

There is frequent discussion and debate about U.S. campaign finance laws and the increasing amounts spent by candidates running for the U.S. Congress. Certain aspects of campaign finance regulation have been the subject of judicial review by the Supreme Court. How do other countries approach the complex task of regulating campaign contributions and spending? This is the subject of a recently published Law Library of Congress report, titled Regulation of Campaign Finance and Free Advertising.

Senate Elections Comm., 5/26/20 (Senate Committee on Elections which is investigating campaign expenses of the various candidates for the presidential nomination in both parties.Left to right Senators Pomerene, Reed, Edge, Kenyon, Chairman, and Spencer), Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

Senate Elections Comm., 5/26/20 (Senate Committee on Elections which is investigating campaign expenses of the various candidates for the presidential nomination in both parties. Left to right Senators Pomerene, Reed, Edge, Kenyon, Chairman, and Spencer). Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The report was prepared by staff of the Global Legal Research Directorate and is composed of country surveys on Austria, Canada, Finland, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Each individual country survey examines whether a country allows campaign contributions and the level of contribution limits for political parties and candidates; the existence of caps on campaign expenditures; and the availability of free airtime for broadcast advertising. The report includes a comparative summary and a table comparing specific requirements under the laws of the surveyed countries.

We invite you to review this report along with the many other multinational and single country reports, including several on elections and campaign finance, available on the Law Library’s website.

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