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.
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.
For the past year I have been maintaining a list of declared and nominated candidates planning to stand in Alberta’s next provincial general election. To give readers a better idea about where in the province the five main political parties are actually nominating candidates, I have created an easy spreadsheet with a regional breakdown.
For the regional breakdown, I have used the same divisions used by Wikipedia. The Edmonton region consists of all constituencies within the city, and St. Albert, Spruce Grove-St. Albert, Sherwood Park, and Strathcona-Sherwood Park.
Here are some of the recent updates that I made to the list:
Calgary-Klein: Chris Tahn was nominated as the Liberal Party candidate.
Cardston-Taber-Warner: Pat Shimbashi defeated MLA Broyce Jacobs to win the PC nomination. Mr. Jacobs was first elected in 2001, was defeated by Alberta Alliance candidate Paul Hinman in 2004, and was re-elected in 2008.
Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville: Tofield Mayor Nabil Chehayeb has entered the PC nomination race. Already in the race are Vegreville Mayor Richard Coleman, Strathcona County Councillor Jacquie Fenske, and former Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Jim Sheasgreen. The nomination meeting to replace local MLA and former Premier Ed Stelmach is scheduled to be held on January 23, 2012.
Lacombe-Ponoka: Doug Hart is seeking the NDP nomination in this central Alberta constituency. In the 1989 election, Mr. Hart was the NDP candidate in the now defunct Ponoka-Rimbey constituency. He is the President of the Federal NDP association in the Wetaskiwin riding.
Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills: Darcy Davis has won the PC nomination in this central Alberta constituency. Mr. Davis defeated candidate Al Kemmere and Will Stevenson. Mr. Davis is the past Chair of Alberta Beef Producers.
Stony Plain: Stony Plain Mayor Ken Lemke is the nominated PC candidate, having defeated four other candidates – Parkland County Councillor Dianne Allen, Vern Hardman, David Cymbaluk and second-place finisher Lorna Wolodko. The Wildrose Party will nominate their candidate on December 17. Hal Tagg is only candidate to declare his entry so far.
West Yellohead: Barry Madsen is expected to be acclaimed at a December 9 nomination meeting in Hinton. As the NDP candidate in the 2004 provincial election, Mr. Madsen placed second with 21% of the vote.