Campaign finance reform
You can tell we're early in the campaign cycle because the issues being discussed are still predominantly the campaigns themselves! Finance reform was the big topic recently, and our friends at Edmonton Quotient did a fine job summarizing the news. Here's a key piece of information from Elise Stolte's most recent article on the subject:
"When the Edmonton Journal studied the issue before the 2013 election, roughly 60 per cent of donations to successful campaigns could be tied back to developers, either through a company or key officials. Unions gave seven per cent of the total raised."
Metro also crunched the numbers and they found a higher percentage, at 71. Either way, it's a lot. Andrew Knack, Fahad Mughal, Troy Pavlek, Payman Parseyan, and Keren Tang have all indicated they will refuse corporate or union donations to their campaigns.
Coun. Knack has written about the issue before, and posted an update last week. "I believe the current rules make it easier for the incumbent to raise significantly more money which in turn discourages people from choosing to put their name forward," he wrote.
Kirsten Goa, candidate for council in Ward 8, supports changes to the Local Authorities Election Act that would ban corporate and union donations in the future, but stopped short of refusing to accept such donations in this campaign, noting that she is "facing an incumbent with almost $30000 in the bank." Goa said she expects to "raise the bulk of our campaign funds through individual donations" and has committed to publishing a list of donors prior to the election.
The provincial government has said it will conduct a review of the rules related to campaign finance in early 2018.