Monday, April 20, 2015

Alberta Elections 2015

We have seen this over and over in Alberta politics.Both at the local level and the provincial level. Clearly at the national level as well, but that part seems to be way out of our control. What we DO have a chance of controlling, is our own province.

And we must take that control back. It would seem that WE have forgotten, that politicians are elected to represent US, the people. Yet time after time, the appearance has been that those with the most money, win.

This is 100% wrong. Because "most money" generally has meant piles of donations from corporate interests, and those of the rich.

Alberta election laws must be revamped. And I am going to push hope the next government will make some sensible changes for future democracy.

Some of the things I would like to see changed are:

  • Fixed election dates
  • Donations limited to people. Not unions. Not corporations.
  • A low cap on the amount donated. Say $500.00 max.
  • An equal limit on advertising by all parties.
  • Maximum limit of aired tv commercials and newspaper advertising. Perhaps no more than 10.
  • Accountability in election promises. No more excuses. No more "but I wasn't aware".
  • Recall legislation.
  • FULL disclosure in government expenses. No more hidden funds.
  • All expenses to be searchable via the web. No more than a 30 day delay.
  • No more "hiding" behind FOIP rules. WE are the taxpayers. WE have a RIGHT to know.
  • Mandatory public candidate forums. All candidates are required to evenly contribute to the cost of holding these debates. All forums must be held no later than 2 weeks prior to the election. Community halls are NOT that expensive, especially when costs are shared. And of course, all candidates will be required to attend.
Now, some may say "but you can't limit spending" and I have to ask why? If everyone has the equal opportunity to save for a restricted known amount of dollars on advertising (signs of course, are exempt), then we have a much better chance of a more level playing field. This will allow for a better planned distribution of funds for things like signs, pamphlets, paying for volunteer parties to honor their commitments in helping out their chosen ones, etc.

Nothing will change, unless we... the people... speak out. If there ever was a time when voting was needed by all the people, this election IS that time. Please vote.

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