Friday, March 2, 2012

Alberta's Municipal Electoral System Favors Money Interests

In this article by Rat Creek Press based out of Edmonton, the Alberta municipal electoral system is shown to have serious flaws in electoral finance, which undermines the legitimacy of Alberta's municipal elections. Interestingly, it is the Alberta premier and cabinet which determine both the provincial and municipal elections laws. According to Rat Creek Press, there are numerous loop holes in the Alberta municipal electoral finance laws, which allow for significant electoral unfairness through for example multiple donations from single sources, inclusion of corporations/unions, and non-regulation of electoral finances except by the public through Alberta courts. The FDA believes that the Alberta provincial government is allowing money interests, rather the interests of Albertans as a whole, to define Alberta elections. The FDA believes that the source of the Alberta government's incompetence is either corruption or an erroneous understanding of fundamental democratic concepts such as 'government of, by, and for the people'. By over emphasizing political freedom as the Alberta government does, it creates political inequity and actually less political freedom for many Albertans, as electoral discourse is dominated by large money interests. Too much political freedom leads to plutocracy, the rule of the rich, and too little political freedom, leads to communism. The FDA argues for a balance between political freedom and political equality, as clearly illustrated by the slogan of the French Revolution, "liberty, equality, fraternity."

Albertans need to be very careful against the extremes of political freedom which the FDA believes is being pushed on Albertans through the Alberta political establishment, major media, and corporations. Otherwise, Albertans may fall into a state of "freedumb" as defined by UrbanDictionary with additions by the FDA:

1. That the dumb should remain free. A corrupted view of freedom based in mass ignorance of what real freedom requires.

The distorted view of the majority population in the United States, who believe that it is not necessary to be intelligent and informed in order to remain free. The concept that unchecked politicians and Multi-National Corporations and NGO's will protect individual civil liberties and not impose various forms of slavery on their subjects. Not knowing the difference between freedom, and fascism is a common trait of lovers of freedumb.

2. When evil rich people exploit and oppress dumb poor people and then convince them it’s all for their freedom; if dumb people believe this they are said to have “freedumb.” Also when evil rich people bomb brown people to death to steal petroleum, they say it’s because of freedom. When dumb people believe this, again you’ve got freedumb.

Oilperation Iraqi Freedumb slaughtered a quarter million of our relatives for petroleum.

Alberta media (radio, TV, press) is controlled by a few companies and that is free and democratic.

Alberta's $30,000 cap on contributions to parties, which only 23.6% of Albertans can afford not including corporations/unions and that is free and democratic.

MARCH 2012

Main excerpts from "Civic Elections Open for Business":

".... Premier Allison Redford was the Justice Minister in 2010 when the new regulations were enacted. She placed all responsibility for overseeing municipal donations in the hands of individuals, but denied them donor
information or the authority to properly investigate illegal contributions. In this regard, she neutered ordinary citizens.

If the cost of information is prohibitive, then it is not accessible. If a donor’s name is confidential, then it is not public. If one group of people can donate twice as much as others, then it is not fair. If an election is run
without providing the names of who donated what money to each candidate, then it is not transparent. If there is no oversight body, then it is open to corruption.

The conclusion is inescapable. The 2010 Edmonton Civic Election was an unfair process largely funded by anonymous campaign donations."

Civic Elections Open for Business

2012 FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Report on Alberta     

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