Good Election Practices
Since 2009, NENO has called for political parties to follow Good Election Practices, which, if complied with, contribute to fair stumping and enables the voters to make an adept choice between different platforms and candidates.
During local, national or European election campaigns, we assemble a network of volunteer experts from academia, journalism, and NGOs – called the Guardians of Good Conduct – who systematically monitor the campaign activities and draw up weekly “Halls of Shame” listing the worst offenders.
The comments of the Guardians are widely published in media, thus rising voters awareness and contributing to the fairness of political competition. Our work has helped to make campaigns more substantial and avoid number of misuses, although still much remains to be done.
The most common malpractices of the Good Conduct are misuses of public resources for party campaigning – thus creating unequal opportunities between the incumbent and its challengers –, and fearmongering and personal attacks instead of substantive debates over policies.
Good Election Practices consist of following principles:
Financing of election campaign is transparent
- All the expenses related to an election campaign are only financed out of the budget of the political party, election alliance or candidate disclosed after the elections.
Public authority is not abused
- Persons working in the apolitical posts of a state or local government authority do not participate in an election campaign of any list of candidates or any candidate during their working time.
- Media channels maintained by the taxpayers shall be accessible under equal conditions for any lists of candidates and independent candidates participating in the elections.
- Public resources, except activity support allocated to the political parties out of the state budget, are only used if these are available for other lists of candidates and independent candidates participating in the elections.
Election campaign focuses on substantive matters
- The subjects of an election campaign are determined by the social relevance, not by simplicity and attractiveness.
- Scaring and bribing voters as well as instigating resistance through national, social, racial or other group identity is avoided.
- Meetings with voters, debates, articles and talk shows are preferred over election advertising during the campaign.
- Election promises are related to the authority of the representative body to be elected and focus to a greater extent on the planned politics, not the positive or negative features of a certain person or group.
- Upon a monetarily appraisable election promise, the cost and source of revenue thereof shall be pointed out.
Candidates’ political views and opinions are public
- Candidates shall not conceal their membership in a political party or political views as well as their connection with various stakeholders.
- Candidates entered in the list of candidates shall publicly declare by the commencement of the active election campaigning, at the latest, whether they commence work in the representative body, if they are elected.