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Associate Research Professor, Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica
To What Extent Do We Know about Money in Politics? An Assessment of the Political Finance Disclosure Law in Taiwan
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Disclosure is the most important means by which citizens in a democracy obtain information about money in electoral politics, and as such, the efficacy of the political finance disclosure determines, to a significant extent, what and how much we know about the actual workings of a political finance system. This study assesses political finance disclosure in Taiwan. While recognizing that sanctions against false disclosure are bound
to be under-enforced, this study argues that loopholes in the coverage of the disclosure rules are the main culprits for the “dark money” in Taiwan politics. This study calls for a structural overhaul of the existing regime, the institutional performance of which is seriously hindered by a conventional
misunderstanding of the purpose of political finance disclosure. In addition to tracking transactions of political finance at the retail level for the sake of informing voters and enforcing other rules governing political finance, an effective disclosure regime should strive to provide citizens with information about macro-political finance.