The individual contribution data isn’t yet available on the Elections Alberta Electoral Finance, but hopefully it will be up soon.
Though the individual contribution breakdown will give us a better idea of where the contributions are coming from, looking at the raw numbers shines a light on some interesting trends.
First, the Tories were still dominant in the money section. This is no surprise. The Alberta PC’s form the current government and have a well established fundraising base in corporate Alberta. Being the last year of the Ralph Klein dynasty, 2006 was an exiciting year for the Alberta PC’s with the attention and funds garnered from their leadership race, this is what I’m assuming a large part of the 1374% increase in “other sources” is about (membership sales, leadership candidate deposits, and the aparatus of this activity).
Second, Kevin Taft’s Alberta Liberals raised over a million dollars last year. This is quite significant since I believe the last time the Alberta Liberals raised over a million was in 1993 (twelve years of inflation aside, it is still nearly 20% higher than their 2005 fundraising numbers, which is a significant sign of growth). The Alberta Liberals have also made a significant dent in their debt (a leftover from their disaterous 2001 election campaign) and have suceeded paying off over $350,000 in just two years.
Third, though the Alberta NDP were only able to raise half of what the Alberta Liberals raised, the NDP continue to attract more contributions from less than $375 crowd than both the Alberta Liberals and Tories. I see this as significant for a number of reasons. Most significantly, when the Federal Liberals introduced Campaign Finance reform before Prime Minister Chretien retired, the Conservatives benifited greatly from having a broadly developed base of supporters who contributed smaller amounts of donations in larger amounts. That said, I’m not convinced that Alberta will see any significant campaign finance reforms before the next election (the numbers also show the NDP running a deficit and an increasing debt).
The Alberta Alliance failed to submit their financial contribution data by the deadline. Does this mean they will be deregistered? I’ll have to find my copy of the Alberta Elections Act and read up…