Voting with the Shilling: The “Money Talks Factor” in Kenya’s Public Policy and Electoral Democracy

The influence of money in elections has become an important ingredient in determining electoral outcomes worldwide. The use of money in political activities has adversely affected the nature of public policy, governance, competition, the rule of law, transparency, equity and democracy. Although there are laws, policies and guidelines governing the use of money during elections, there is little political will to implement them. This paper examines how money, or the lack thereof, determines electoral outcomes in multi-party democracies with a focus on Kenya, employing both the hydraulic theory and the push-and-pull paradigm. The study found that in most cases, victory in elections follows those with money; in other cases, it is the potential for victory that attracts money from self-interested donors. The study calls on electoral bodies such as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to honour their mandate and demand compliance with set laws and regulations in a bid to entrench governance and create a level playing field for contestants.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: campaign financing; campaign spending; election money; electoral outcomes; Kenya; public policy
journal of african elections vol19 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa