Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wildrose Resort to Inducing Voters?

The Wildrose Alliance is walking a tightrope as they induce Alberta voter support with the promise of $300 dividend cheques. This cash handout may be perceived as an improper inducement for votes. According to the Alberta Election Law it is punishable offence to induce citizens for votes:

Improper inducement
172(1) A person commits a corrupt practice who, either personally
or by any other person on the person’s behalf, in order to induce an
elector to vote or not to vote or to vote for or not to vote for a
particular candidate

(a) offers, gives, lends or promises to offer, give or lend or promises to procure or attempts to procure any money or
other valuable consideration to or for the elector or any
person on behalf of the elector or to or for any other
person,
(b) gives, procures or promises to give or procure or attempts
to procure any office, position or employment to or for the
elector or any other person, or
(c) does any act referred to in clause (a) or (b) in order to
reward any person for having voted or not having voted.

Corrupt practice offence
177(1) A person who commits a corrupt practice is guilty of an
offence and liable to a fine of not more than $5000 or to
imprisonment for not more than 2 years or to both fine and
imprisonment.

Albertans should be wary of cash enticements from the Wildrose Alliance Party, because its libertarian/small government agenda will weaken the safety net for mid and lower income Albertans. A laissez faire capitalist society means everyone fends for themselves, and this ideology does not bode well for most Albertans since Alberta has the fastest growing gap between the rich and poor, and most of the wealth and higher incomes in the province are concentrated in the top 30 percent of the population and above:

In 2010, the Alberta per capita income is $70,826 (Statistics Canada, 2011); in 1999 the Alberta top 20% earned 14.5 times more than the lowest 20% (Penbina.org, 2000); in 2008, 32.4% of Alberta families total revenue is between $0 and $39.999, and the 42.1% of Alberta families total revenue is $80,000 or more (Statistics Canada, 2009); in 2011 Alberta has the fastest growing gap between rich and poor in Canada; the richest 1% in Alberta has as much wealth as the poorest 53% combined (Myles, 2011).

Persons with income 2009
Total persons with income 2,603,670
Persons with income under $5,000 195,960 (7.52%)
Persons with income of $5,000 and over 2,407,710 (92.47%)
Persons with income of $10,000 and over 2,239,580 (86.01%)
Persons with income of $15,000 and over 2,036,760 (78.22%)
Persons with income of $20,000 and over 1,826,380 (70.14%)
Persons with income of $25,000 and over 1,629,050 (62.56%)
Persons with income of $35,000 and over 1,309,610 (50.29%) (49.71% of Alberta income earners earn less than $34.999 a year.)
Persons with income of $50,000 and over 899,840 (34.56%) (75.44% of Alberta income earners earn less than $49.999 a year.)
Persons with income of $75,000 and over 476,760 (18.31%)
Persons with income of $100,000 and over 251,340 (9.56%)
Persons with income of $150,000 and over 97,720 (3.75%)
Persons with income of $200,000 and over 50,430 (1.93%)
Persons with income of $250,000 and over 31,110 (1.19%)
Median total income (dollars) 35,250

(Statistics Canada, 2011)

Wildrose link Cash with Votes

2 comments:

  1. You may be reading the law to narrowly. I don't think it applies to anything said as part of a campaign platform. Otherwise the prisons would be full of politicians and candidates.

    Now, if the Wildrose party began to quietly approach people and offer $300 cheques to get to the polling station and vote for Wildrose, then I assume that this would be a statutory violation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends on interpretation of the relevant Alberta Election laws.

      Clearly, the Wildrose Alliance Party is offering cash inducements for votes. Viz., if you vote for us and we get elected, we will give you a $300 cheque.

      Delete

Thank you for sharing your perspective.