Regulating Foreign Electoral 'Interference': Reform in Australasia

Prof. Graeme Orr

'No man is an island, entire of itself' (Donne). But what of island nations and their elections? National elections are chauvinistic events; but politics is necessarily porous.
Amidst an outbreak of interest and concern about foreign interference in electoral politics worldwide, this paper will examine the experience and position of two island-nations, Australia and New Zealand. Once cocooned on the south-western edge of the Pacific, both nations were once quite sanguine about influence from within the British Empire of which they were a part. But in recent years, each has moved to erect limits on foreign political donations in particular. Are these laws more than window-dressing? And how have they incubated and been received, particularly in the context of the rise of China as both adominant trading partner and regional superpower.

This presentation is based on a paper by Professor Graeme Orr (University of Queensland, Australia) and Professor Andrew Geddis (University of Otago, New Zealand) which is part of a forthcoming Election Law Journal special issue on foreign election interference and national responses.