Political sponsoring of NGOs
Does the end justify the means?
Political parties sponsoring NGO’s, is it acceptable?
Greenpeace and green political parties are united in their position against nuclear energy and their support for renewable energies. Christian charity organizations and conservative political parties both stand for traditional family values and against family planning. But does this mean they should work together? Often political parties sponsor NGOs, but is this sponsoring even acceptable? There are several arguments which we would like to consider. The credibility of NGOs as independent organizations and their ability to pursue their social interests are harmed by political sponsoring. The credibility of NGOs decreases, because more often than not, the interests of political parties are more important than the original agenda of the NGOs, due to (financial) sponsoring. The reason for political parties to engage with NGOs in the form of political sponsoring is to increase attention for the statements on the political agenda. NGOs often have more resources and are less restrained to all sorts of rules and laws to protest in rigorous actions. However, this money can only be invested when the NGO compromises its own agenda with the agenda of the political party, which means that they might have to compromise on their own values, missions and visions. Hence the question rises; how can an NGO be called non-governmental when there is a political influence? A counterargument for this is that there is a difference between a political party and the government. Of course this is the case, but a political party is a part of the government. In the Netherlands it is even the case that the political parties get subsidy by the government, so these are inseparable. Thus we argue you can´t call a NGO non-governmental anymore when it is sponsored by political parties, which significantly decreases their credibility. Democratic control of political action that...
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