Effects and Methods of Municipal Campaign Financing, 2004
Mayor Bronconnier (Calgary) and Alderman Hawkesworth (Ward 4)
Through donations from individuals, corporations, and institutions, politicians fund their campaigns. Generally, the larger amount of money a candidate has to spend on his or her campaign, the better the chance that the candidate will end up elected in municipal office. Regime theory states that there is co-operation between different institutions that affects decisions and results. Politicians receiving donations from corporations and individuals often return the favor to their beneficiaries through municipal funding, contract preference, and policy changes.
These contributions may be intended to sway the opinion of the politicians in question towards allowing more construction projects, opening more zones for development, and in general, creating a more favorable arena for the companies to profit in.
The largest amount both candidates received from industry-specific sources would be from the land development companies, primarily real estate related. Mr. Bronconnier received over one hundred thousand dollars from real estate companies, counting only the donations over one thousand dollars. Alderman Hawkesworth received three thousand four hundred dollars. This time, the percentage of developer donations to Mr. Bronconnier greatly exceeded that of Mr. Hawkesworth. Just like with the construction companies, it is unlikely these donations were given on the basis of the candidates stance on healthcare, police, etc, but rather on their stances on real estate development that most likely benefit the companies in question.
Regime theory states that donations from private sector companies to the campaigns of politicians can create mutual benefit. Companies are seen as variables in the outcome of municipal policy, perhaps the greater amount a lobby donates, the larger rewards it reaps. This creates a common benefit, politicians are re-elected into office due to the large amount of campaign funding, and companies prosper due to the politician’s decisions, thus being able to contribute even more the next time...