Alberta Politics

how much money do alberta’s political parties have in the bank? comparing financial disclosures from 2009 and 2010.

Submitted to Elections Alberta earlier this year, the 2010 financial disclosures from the constituency associations of Alberta’s political parties have been released (the central party financial disclosures were released in April). I have taken some time over the past few days to collect the 2010 data and compare them with financial disclosures from 2009.

There are a number of interesting things about these disclosures, including the annual expenses of some constituency associations as recently mentioned by Edmonton-Gold Bar MLA Hugh MacDonald.

Not surprisingly, the Progressive Conservatives have shown their political strength with functional organizations in nearly all 83 constituencies. PC constituency associations disclosed over $3.1 million in net assets in 2010, a jump from $2.5 million in 2009. The three wealthiest PC constituency associations with over $100,000 in net assets are Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock (MLA Ken Kowalski), Calgary-Elbow (MLA Alison Redford), and Whitecourt-Ste. Anne (MLA George VanderBurg).

The Wildrose Alliance showed substantial growth in 2010, as its constituency associations grew their total net assets to $455,595 from a low $78,298 in 2009. The constituency organizations of two of that party’s new MLAs, former Tories Rob Anderson and Heather Forsyth, increased their net assets by an impressive $60,723 in Airdrie-Chestermere and $36,075 in Calgary-Fish Creek in 2010.

The Liberals showed marginal financial growth and still face substantial challenges in fundraising compared to the PCs and Wildrose Alliance. The Liberals fundraised well in constituencies their 8 MLAs currently represent and a few other constituencies which that party’s MLAs held until the last election (notably Edmonton-Rutherford, where former MLA RIck Miller is his party’s nominated candidate).

In five constituencies that the Liberals represented until 2008 or more recently, there were signs that none or very little local fundraising had taken place in 2010 (Calgary-Currie, Calgary-Elbow, Edmonton-Decore, Edmonton-Ellerslie, and Edmonton-Meadowlark).

Alberta NDP local organizations in the majority of the province’s constituencies appeared to be dormant or non-existant in 2010.

The NDP is strategically targeting its financial and organizational resources in a handful of constituencies in Edmonton where it hopes it can make gains in the next election. While the party’s local organizations have not wracked up large net assets, there is noticeable spending happening in a few constituencies (including more than $24,000 in expenses in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview where candidate Deron Bilous is campaigning).

Here are breakdowns of the party’s 2009 and 2010 financial disclosures:

13 replies on “how much money do alberta’s political parties have in the bank? comparing financial disclosures from 2009 and 2010.”

Crazydan: Thanks for the comment. I didn’t include Alberta Party constituency fundraising because that party only had 3 registered Constituency Associations in 2010. The vast majority of that party’s local organizations have been set up since or are still being set up.

What no reports to post about Alberta Party cash. I guess I will have to go to second life,from a twitter link to find what they have in the bank.

Thanks for your informative comment, Wade. As I already commented, I did not include the Alberta Party constituency financials because almost all of that party’s local organizations have been set up since or are still being set up.


I wouldnt be so sarcastic with Wade. It’s very tough to read your blog without doing it through the prism of your Alberta Party activity. When you exclude them from something like this it just reminds us of how selective you’ve become in your “reporting” of the facts.

Dave, Thank-you for this effort. It is a very interesting study and it saves everyone one a fair bit of work. And I would not pay much attention to the comments about excluding AP – they are irrelevant for 2010 – but by this time next year may be more interesting.

Thanks for doing this Dave. What is significantly revealing here is there were only two parties building grassroots “province wide” organizations up to 2010. Regarding the folks critical of you for leaving Alberta Party financials out of the mix, you are right in that the Alberta Party did not begin registering CA’s with Elections Alberta until 2011. Therefore there were no financials to report. We started the organizing of some CA is late 2010, but no official paperwork was filed until 2011.Most of our CA’s have been built and registered in 2011 and we still have some more to organize. The 2011 reports should reveal that there are three parties building true province wide grassroots organizations. The fact that the Liberals and the NDS have been around as long as they have and are in this kind of financially limited position is a pretty strong reason the Alberta Party has risen on to the scene. We need a new model and a new voice that can become a viable option for moderate and progressive voters all across Alberta. The Alberta Party’s organizing strategy is to truly be an “Alberta” Party, not just a downtown Edmonton or downtown Calgary party.

Dave, always interesting and ignore the naysayers, I say. However, I did think you were a tad remiss in not reporting that Rob Anderson and Heather Forsyth received transfers from the WAP of $46,000 and $26,000 respectively. I guess their loyalties were, indeed, for sale.

I should probably weigh in here and mention briefly that NDP constituency associations (in most cases) report differently. Because of our revenue share agreement with the provincial party, many associations choose to simply send their fundraising proceeds into the party itself, where administration than applies the amount to an internal account that becomes payable at election time. There are a few benefits to this: not only does the party have the luxury of the extra cash flow in between campaigns, the association in question can spare itself the additional (though minor, true) headache of issuing its own tax receipts and report. Its a perfectly legitimate way of reporting – as in the case of Edmonton Manning, for example, where we are quite healthy financially, our assets are in the coffers of the provincial party, and are reported as such…

I agree that it does make it difficult to comment accurately on the ins and outs of each constituency, but in our case, in makes sense simply for efficiency’s sake. For accurate transfer/prior fundraising totals, watch the ‘party transfer’ line to the candidate totals when they are filed after each election.

I see you forgot the Alberta Party Dave. Is there some kind of vast criminal leftist communist Bilderberg conspiracy behind this?

If the Alberta Party were to share their financial statements right now the biggest “donor” would probably be the Town of Hinton for the use of their vehicles.

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