When elected politicians make arbitrary decisions that favor their donors or supporters is called patronage. In most countries the executive has the right to make thousands of appointments, some of which may be lucrative (see also sinecures). Nepotism and cronyism are more specific types of patronage.

Methods of patronage:
  • government jobs and external consultants.
  • government contracts
  • favorable rulings e.g. e.g. zoning
  • non-enforcement of laws or bylaws
  • favorable standards
  • protection from competition. e.g. Bank Act

The targeting of a specific interest group, lobby group or demographic is not really patronage but wedge issue politics.

political machine, politics as usual, pork barrel, no-bid contract


Patronage Vs. Merit in Canadian Public Administration: An Analysis -by Dieser Eintrag