the one dollar election campaign.

NDP Barry Madsen West Yellowhead

Barry Madsen, the NDP's man in West Yellowhead.

In his second attempt as the NDP candidate in West Yellowhead, Barry Madsen is taking a different, and unconventional, approach to fundraising. In a speech made at his recent nomination meeting, Mr. Madsen pledged to only accept $1 donations to his election campaign.

Talking about creating “an alternative that sets us apart from what promises to be a crowded field of candidates,” Mr. Madsen used his speech to talk about the need to remove the influence of money in elections.

It is unclear whether the self-imposed $1 donation limit will prevent his campaign from fulfilling basic legal requirements, such as paying a required monetary deposit with Elections Alberta.

When asked some key questions about his $1 pledge on the daveberta.ca Facebook page, Mr. Madsen provided some quick responses.

On the required candidate deposit with Elections Alberta:

I will discuss this with the central party office. Because it is conditionally refundable I will probably have it paid out of our normal constituency rebate on contributions. Otherwise I have asked the constituency to return the constituency rebates to the central campaign.

On his personal on financial contribution to his campaign:

I will donate no more than $1500 personally and that will likely be in the form of deferred expenses. There are no secret trap doors here allowing money in the back door. I think credibility is our most important asset and I normally donate that amount anyways. The challenge is that there is no roadmap for this approach.

It is unclear whether Mr. Madsen fully understands how this could handicap his campaign. Trying to remove the influence of money in politics is a noble venture, but it ignores the reality that money is needed to purchase essential items like campaign signs, handbills, and in large rural constituencies like West Yellowhead, fuel for a candidate’s vehicle.

Records from the 2004 election show that Mr. Madsen’s campaign spent $17,940 in West Yellowhead, accumulating a $1,024 deficit. Mr. Madsen earned 1,771 votes.

Also running in the West Yellowhead constituency are Progressive Conservative MLA Robin Campbell, Alberta Party leader Glenn Taylor, and Wildrose candidate Stuart Taylor.

10 thoughts on “the one dollar election campaign.

  1. David J. Climenhaga

    Perhaps Mr. Madsen should have talked this over with the central party office before making his announcement. As a New Democratic Party supporter, I am disappointed and troubled by this kind of naive and impractical gesture. We don’t need New Democrat candidates who want to link hands and sing Kumbyah. What we do need are candidates whom voters can take seriously as the kind of people who would provide government that is both grown-up and progressive. Yeah, I know it’s a tough slog for New Democrats in some ridings, but West Yellowhead is one where the party should be able to make a decent showing. Even where winning is hopeless, credible candidates nevertheless help other credible candidates in other ridings where the NDP has a chance. As unhappy a development as this would be, perhaps the party should think about asking Mr. Madsen to step aside so that a candidate who will take this important duty seriously can be found.

    Reply
  2. Brandon

    “It is unclear whether Mr. Madsen fully understands how this could handicap his campaign. Trying to remove the influence of money in politics is a noble venture, but it ignores the reality that money is needed to purchase essential items like campaign signs, handbills, and in large rural constituencies like West Yellowhead, fuel for a candidate’s vehicle.”

    You hit the nail on the head there.

    Reply
  3. Shannon Phillips

    The trouble is that individuals *want* to give to a growing NDP. They *want* to support a political movement and a set of ideas they think make sense. At least, they do in my riding of Lethbridge West. And there’s no shame in taking money from individuals in amounts that ordinary people can afford.

    Reply
  4. Buddie Dharma

    Hey! Maybe he could offer to donate his entire salary for a year to finance his next campaign… Oh, wait … hasn’t something like that been done already? Carl Benito! C’mon down t’Yellowhead!

    Reply
  5. Denny

    I live in West Yellowhead and I make a monthly contribution to the Alberta NDP, of which a fair portion goes to the West Yellowhead Constituency Association under the party’s revenue sharing rules. I have to say I’m disappointed that the money that I’ve contributed to the riding association is going to just sit there rather than being used for the purposes of paying campaign expenses, as I reasonably assumed it would be.
    Had I known my money was going to waste I might have considered a better use for it.

    Reply
  6. Oh the humanity

    So, he’s going to have to get 10 times the people who voted for him last time to donate to him? Awesome. To quote the great Bugs Bunny, “what a maroon!” on the other hand, he won’t have to spend any time issuing receipts.

    Reply
  7. Barry Madsen

    I respect everyone’s opinion and have given this issue plenty of thought.

    People are free to donate whatever they wish and some have given more, but my campaign will only take $1/person/year, with the balance being directed to the central party campaign where it will still make a difference

    I believe that voters or more correctly non-voters have had it up to here with electing Bob Loblaw.

    As the candidate for West Yellowhead I trust that voters will see this as a genuine opportunity to make a difference, with or without a big campaign machine behind me.

    It would also help if my recently acquired critics all send their donations today and make the lack of financing a moot point.

    Reply
  8. Common Sense

    Anyone who knows Barry Madsen knows how seriously he takes his duty to the NDP party. He lives it, Mr. Climenhaga. Denny, your money is not wasted. Barry donates to the party monthly himself & campaigns door to door for other candidates in their ridings, as needed. Do you people understand what the NDP represents? Seriously, these comments have a nasty blue ring to them. I will definitely vote for this very orange Maroon! Dollars add up, just as every vote counts.

    Reply
  9. Outside Observer

    Shannon Phillips is every bit the fringe candidate Mr. Madsen is. The general public just hasn’t done enough homework on her politics to realize it yet.

    Reply
  10. Pingback: Glenn Taylor quits his day job — now he has a few weeks to save the Alberta Party | Broddy Olson

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