"The Partisan Usage of Parliamentary Salaries: Informal Party Practices Compared"
West European Politics
Reason for embargo
It is widely acknowledged that political parties in European democracies have become increasingly dependent on state resources, most notably direct state funding. Yet cross-national studies on parties' usage of state resources that are not earmarked for partisan purposes, which require the assessment of informal, intra-organisational practices, are still rare. This article looks at one such practice across 33 parties in five European democracies: namely the 'taxing' of national MPs' salaries. Under this practice, candidates who enter elected office on a party ticket are obliged regularly to donate a fixed share of their public salaries to party coffers. The empirical analysis shows that the presence of a taxing rule is more likely in parties with a strong extra-parliamentary organisation, while a leftist ideology facilitates the collection of high salary shares from parliamentarians. Moreover, where party entanglement with the state is particularly pronounced, the partisan usage of parliamentary salaries is easier irrespective of their organisational dispositions. Finally, while in unitary systems national headquarters are usually able to monopolise control over national MPs' contributions, in federal systems regional party executives are able to insist on their share of these payments. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Marie Curie Early Career Fellowship
Vol. 35, Issue 2, pp. 209 - 237