The province has unveiled some new rules on election spending in Alberta.
Minister for Democratic Renewal Christina Gray says instead of you being able to donate to $15,000 in a non-election year, and $30,000 in an election year – the limit is being cut down to four thousand dollars for any year.
New legislation also limits spending on nomination contests and by-elections.
“Last year, we banned corporate and union donations and we are now taking the next step to strengthen the democratic process. Our comprehensive approach is aimed at encouraging fair elections and making sure we close back doors and loopholes that allow big money to flow into the electoral process,” said Gray.
The bill will also allow parties to spend no more than two-million dollars in an election campaign. Opponents agree it’s critical to take big money out of politics, but say there also needs to be a restriction on government advertising.
“The Alberta Liberals have long supported meaningful limits on political party and campaign financial contributions. A healthy democracy depends on the equal consideration of all voters, not just those who are able to donate large sums of money. These financial reforms will strengthen Alberta’s democratic process,” said Alberta Liberal leader Dr. David Swann.
The act would set spending limits on election advertising by third parties. The limit would apply from the dropping of the writ to the close of polls and would be set at $150,000, of which no more than $3,000 could be used to support or oppose candidates in a particular electoral division.
Between elections, third parties would have to register with Elections Alberta and disclose contributions on a “sunshine list” if they planned to spend $1,000 on political advertising, incur $1,000 in expenses for political advertising or receive $1,000 in donations for political advertising. Contributions to third parties for the purposes of advertising would be disclosed on a database maintained by Elections Alberta. Third parties would also be required to identify themselves in their advertisements. (eb)