Alberta Politics

Powerful NDP fundraising machine, Kenney implodes the Tories, Liberals launch leadership campaign

The Alberta New Democratic Party raised more than the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties combined in the final quarter of 2016 and more than any other party over the entire year, according to financial disclosures published by Elections Alberta.

The NDP finished their fourth quarter fundraising drive with $798,165, compared to $511,667 for the Wildrose Party, $218,792 for the PCs, $85,930 for the Liberals and $32,612 for the Alberta Party.

This was the second consecutive quarter where the NDP raised more than the opposition Wildrose. Over the course of 2016, the NDP raised $1,985,271 in donations from individual Albertans, more than then $1,758,377 raised by the Wildrose Party.


Alan Hallman
Alan Hallman

Despite lawsuits, fines, complaints by former MLAs, and having a campaign strategist kicked out of the party, Jason Kenney’s single-focused campaign to dissolve the PC Party and merge it with the Wildrose Party appears to be on track to win a landslide at the party’s delegate convention on March 18.

And despite claims that the party remains viable, and that its constituency associations hold more than $1.7 million in the bank, none of the three candidates claiming to support the “renewal” of the current party appear to be contenders.

Jason Kenney
Jason Kenney

The latest explosion in the PC Party leadership race occurred over the weekend as the party executive voted to suspend the membership of long-time organizer Alan Hallman over an inappropriate tweet. Hallman, who had announced plans to sue Stephen Carter late last year, was serving a strategist, or “field organizer,” for Kenney’s campaign.

In a bombshell rebuke to the party’s elected executive, interim party leader Ric McIver publicly defended Hallman and some members of the party’s youth wing publicly appointed him as their honorary chairman the day after he was suspended. At least three members of the youth wing executive – Sierra Garner, Kyle Hoyda and Natalie Warren – tweeted they were not informed of the decision to give Hallman the honorary chairmanship before it was announced (I am told this is also a violation of the PC Party’s rules, as Hallman is no longer a party member).

It is unclear whether the blowback from McIver and Kenney’s supporters in the youth wing will convince the party executive to rescind the suspension order.

Ric McIver
Ric McIver

Less than two years after being reduced to third place in the last provincial election, the party that led Alberta for almost forty-four uninterrupted years feels like a shell of its once mighty self. Once Kenney wins the leadership, there might not be anything left to merge with the Wildrose Party. Maybe that was the plan?


Karen Sevcik
Karen Sevcik

The Alberta Liberals launched their leadership race over the weekend.

As blogger David Climenhaga notes, potential candidates to replace interim leader David Swann include include outgoing St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse, former Calgary broadcaster Nirmala Naidoo, and Calgary lawyer David Khan.

“There’s an opportunity right now in the middle of that political spectrum for a kind of common sense, pragmatic solution to some of the challenges we’re facing right now,” party President Karen Sevcik told CBC Edmonton. “We think there’s some room, there’s opportunity, there’s change, and when there’s change, there’s opportunity.”

The party will hold leadership debates in Calgary on April 8 and Edmonton on May 6. Party members will announce its new leader on June 4, 2017.

7 replies on “Powerful NDP fundraising machine, Kenney implodes the Tories, Liberals launch leadership campaign”

The PC leadership vote has not even held yet and already Jason Kenny has been declared the winner. Do we already forget that Hillary Clinton was suppose to be inaugurated President this Friday January 20. However, other US voters in certain key swing states voted otherwise. My prediction for the March 18 vote in Calgary comes down to two ballots with a renewal candidate defeating Jason Kenney.

I agree with Frank, I think Dave is misreading the tea leaves here. If Kenney was on a surefire path to victory then he & his team wouldn’t be so worked up over perceived slights from the PC board. There is a silent majority of party members in play over the coming DSM period. Kenney tried to establish the false narrative of his unbeatableness by having the ridings he had sowed up vote first, now we get into the bulk of the party proper. I expect he’ll hit around 40% on first ballot & struggle to make any gains on further ballots.

Mr. Kenney is like the political version of a duck. He tries to make it look very smooth on the surface, but below the surface there is furious paddling going on.

He may emerge the victor, but not necessarily so. The race may be closer than conventional wisdom thinks. I am not sure if they are a sign of overconfidence or desperation, but I don’t think some of the ill considered actions and words by his supporters helps his campaign.

If he wins it is quite possible a lot of disenchanted PC’s will leave.

I love your duck analogy, David, and I agree with the rest of your post. There is a reason the people who remain in the PC party are still there. For some, it is no doubt blind loyalty, but for others it is that the WRP has no appeal. The question I have is where will these disenchanted PC’s go when they leave?

The NDP raised more money on the final quarter of 2016, than the Liberals & Alberta Party combined raised in the entire year. Neither party is more than a rounding error in the polls or at the ballot box. How much more starkly is the complete political irrelevance of those two groupings illustrated than by these facts?

The PCs, meanwhile, raised less than the leadership candidate advocating to blow them up. If he gets his wish, Alberta politics will come down to a two-party competition between a doctrinaire, hard-right unified Conservative party, and a moderate centrist NDP. While a unified conservative PC-Wildrose love child midwifed by Jason Kenney would undoubtedly have a strong base of support, it will have little room for growth beyond its base, especially among Alberta’s younger and more urban voters.

Wasn’t too long ago the NDP were nothing more than a “rounding error.” If the Liberals find a competent leader, the PC-Wildrose mess will be an opportunity too good to pass up.

“Over the course of 2016, the NDP raised $1,985,271 in donations from individual Albertans, more than then $1,758,377 raised by the Wildrose Party.”

Wildrose raised over $2 million in 2016 according to them.

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