Alberta Campaign Finance Reform

Posted: July 24, 2012 by Ty in Current Events, Musings
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There is a black hole of ethics within Alberta Politics, and I am not sure if any party has been spared it. You see there is an ability for financing of campaigns to go unhindered, and to even have illegal donations made without so much as a blink by the governing party.

So what needs to happen?

What about taking financing of political entities right back to membership bases. Here is what I am thinking:

1) Ban any corporate or union donations

2) lower/enforce the cap on personal campaign donations to individuals of a voting age.

3) Cap spending per candidate campaign at a maximum of $5000, and that the provincial party can only spend $25,000. This makes for more efficient and targetted campaigns.

4) Instead of each candidate renting their own office, have each riding-zone a community centre in their area that the province will rent for all candidates to use as a central office so that citizens can go there to connect with all the campaigns.

5) Ban the unrecyclable lawn signs (pet peeve, and just environmentally unfriendly).

6) To be allowed to be on the ballot come election day a candidate must:

a. prove that they live in the riding their are running in.

b. prove an active campaign (not just be a name on ballot/flag bearer    of                  a party).

c. Attend 3 all candidate debates in the riding. Each debate to be held at local community centres/public schools.

d. disclose all donors the week before the election to the public.

e. If any of these requirements is not fulfilled, what happens is that there is a press posting at the ballot station informing voters candidate Y is no longer available for votes. Any votes cast for them will be counted as a spoiled ballot.

For parties, it is quite simple, if more than half of their candidates break the rules the party loses its charter and is unable to reform. Any elected MLA’s from that party become independents, if they opt to join another party they must resign their seat and run in a byelection.

If the party refuses to release all donors on election day (and in each public annual report) or is found to have received illegal donations they shall be disbanded and unable to run candidates or collect donations.

So Albertans? Does this sound like a plausible reform? and if so how do we do it?

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