Alberta Politics

UCP probably, maybe narrowly back on top in political party fundraising in 2022 Q1. We’ll have to take their word for it.

The United Conservative Party is probably, maybe leading the pack in political party fundraising for the first time since 2020. But we’ll just have to take their word for it.

The political party fundraising results from the first financial quarter of 2022 were released today, but because of changes the UCP made to political finance laws in 2021, money raised by constituency associations are no longer included in the quarterly disclosures.

The UCP claims the totals (see below) don’t include more than $375,000 raised by constituency associations. This is probably true, but we won’t actually know until Elections Alberta releases its next annual report sometime in early 2023.

So instead of having the kind of transparency that showed Albertans what political parties AND constituency associations actually raised in each quarter, we are now stuck comparing apples and oranges.

The funny thing is that if the UCP hadn’t made the disclosure laws less transparent, they would probably be getting positive headlines instead of having to spin a days worth of “but wait!” tweets.

Unlike the UCP and most other parties, the Alberta NDP has long disclosed all its fund-raising centrally, so all of the NDP’s fundraising will still be reported quarterly.

Here are the political party fundraising results for the first quarter of 2022 released by Elections Alberta today:

NDP – $1,037,511.32
UCP – $887,974.49
Pro-Life Political Association – $67,564.93
Alberta Party – $29,006.45
Liberal – $19,667
Wildrose Independence – $14,205
Green Party – $1,920
Independence Party – $390
Alberta Advantage Party – $310

The Communist Party, Reform Party, and Buffalo Party reported no funds raised int he first three months of 2022.

The UCP fundraising has improved, but it is nowhere near as dominant it was in its heydays before 2020, when Rachel Notley‘s NDP began a near two-year streak of out-fundraising the governing conservative party.

It is something somewhat positive that Jason Kenney can point to as UCP members vote to decide his fate in the leadership review (but he might have to explain why he made political fundraising less transparent), but as we get closer to the next election it’s looking more like a competitive fundraising race between the NDP and UCP.

Meanwhile, Elections Alberta 2021 annual report showed the NDP with $5,598,136.01 and the UCP with $1,141,647.39 in the bank at the end of last year.

I’m sure I might have more thoughts to share about this as I pour through the disclosure reports this week, so stay tuned!

(And, one more time, feel free to sign up for the Daveberta Substack.)

4 replies on “UCP probably, maybe narrowly back on top in political party fundraising in 2022 Q1. We’ll have to take their word for it.”

Who exactly is donating to the UCP? This is shrouded in mystery and in secrecy. The NDP were the ones who prohibited corporate and union donations to political parties in Alberta. The UCP reversed one of these things, and corporations are once again allowed to donate to political parties in Alberta. Also, we still haven’t seen the donations list for the leader of the UCP. Why not? Where is it? It’s been 3 years, and nothing has been revealed. The UCP simply can’t be trusted.

Wonder how much of the unverified fundraising dollars went to UCP constituency associations organizing to oust Kenney as party leader?

The UCP claims to be ahead again – brave words, but no way to prove it as the figures from their constituency associations are not official. With the current state of the UCP, anything party officials say is suspect.

In a way, the UCP has been hoisted on its own petard here. They wanted to make fundraising less transparent, so now it is making the numbers look worse for them.

Who knows how accurate what constituency officials are giving the party is, or if some are even talking to party officials these days. So, maybe the party is just guessing.

However, count on UCP party officials to come up with something that makes Kenney look good. It seems that’s all that counts for them in the short term.

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