I was browsing through Elections Alberta Financial Disclosures earlier this week and updated some old charts I created in April 2015, mere days before last year’s election was called. The charts below track political party fundraising over the past eleven years, showing the ups and downs of the different parties.
Last year marked many firsts in Alberta politics, but in relation to fundraising it was the first year that political parties were banned from accepting donations from corporations and unions. This change was the made in the first law passed by the the New Democratic Party government.
Not surprisingly, the NDP had its most successful fundraising year in 2015, raising nearly $3 million over the course of the entire year. Despite the floor crossings that crippled the party in late 2014, the Wildrose Party bounced back with healthy fundraising for 2015.
The Progressive Conservatives, Alberta’s natural governing party from 1971 to 2015, broke records in fundraising and at the polls last year (in very different ways).
The Liberal Party has struggled with fundraising over the past eight years, starting from its decline after the 2008 election. And the Alberta Party, which elected its first MLA in 2015, is still dwarfed by the fundraising of the other parties.
8 replies on “Alberta Political Party Fundraising from 2004 to 2015”
You know what would have been good is to plot all parties on a chart that had the same scale of $$ down one side. Then make a digital overlay of how much actual money was raised by each party using the same measures shown here (under $375/over $375 the…)
It would also be interesting to see how much money the top donators gave, and how many of there there were.
Thanks for the comment and the suggestions. The amounts changed from 2012 to 2013 to reflect changes in political finance laws that lowered the disclosure limit from $375 to $250.
The charts are interesting. They mostly confirm what I already suspected – being in government is good for fundraising and being further from government is more challenging. However there are some interesting surprises in here. The Wildrose’s fundraising seems to have never really recovered after they lost all those MLA’s to the PC’s, even though they are now the official opposition. The PC’s don’t look too bad for 2015 overall, but I suspect they got most of their donations earlier in 2015, not in the post election period. The Alberta Party may not be a political powerhouse, but their numbers seem to be moving in a good direction.
The issue is where are the donations coming from? In the case of the Alberta PC’s and the Wildrose, it is a safe bet that oil companies and big business are where most of the donations to these two parties are coming from.
Try reading financial disclosure reports by the parties sometimes. The Wildrose took in lots of donations, but as a percentage and in nominal terms their donations from big business were a fraction of what the PCs retained.
Ryan. I disagree.
I agree with the first comment: you need to use the same scale on the charts, it looks like the NDP and the Wildrose raised exactly the same amount of money in 2015. But hard to tell because of the different scales…
Harvey- corporate donations were banned right after the 2015 election. So indicating that PC and WR got big oil money not true.
Always interesting to go to elections ab in the past and read the name of companies, and for the NDP to read the amts of union contributions.
Did you include the funds raised by the riding associations in the totals?