Democratic Reform

Intro

Society works best when the Government works for all. Alberta’s electoral system leaves over half the votes cast uncounted. Big money is circumventing our election finance rules. Marginalized groups are underrepresented. Accessing Government information has never been more difficult.

Alberta Liberals have a plan to make sure every Albertan has a voice in the future of our province.

Electoral Reform

The Alberta Liberals are 100% committed to implementing a Proportional Representation (“PR”) voting system.

Our winner-take-all electoral system isn’t fair. It leaves over half the votes cast uncounted, reduces the representation of marginalized groups, and disenfranchises voters.

The advantages of PR include:

  • Broadening the choices available to Albertans.
  • Increasing voter turnout.
  • Electing more women, LGBTQ2S+, and visible minorities, so that our Legislature reflects the diversity of our province.
  • Ensuring a party doesn’t get 100% of the power with 40% of the votes.
  • Forcing parties with differing views to work together in the Legislature.

An Alberta Liberal Government would implement a Mixed Member Proportional (“MMR”) form of proportional representation. MMR is working successfully in advanced democracies such as Germany and New Zealand.  

MMPR has voters cast two votes on one ballot. They vote once for a local constituency candidate. They vote again, on the same ballot, directly for a political party. Votes for constituency candidates work similarly to our current system. The vote for political parties will elect representatives from a published list of party candidates.

Seat counts will more accurately reflect the percentage of political parties popular vote under MMPR. The Legislature will more accurately reflect the will of Alberta voters and maintain the local representation Albertans value.

The next two Alberta elections would be run pursuant to the MMR system. Before the third election, a referendum would be put forward so Albertans could choose between MMR and first-past-the-post (“FPTP”). A simple majority of the votes cast in favour of MMR would make the system permanent. If a simple majority of votes cast prefer FPTP, a sunset clause in the legislation would automatically revert the voting system to first-past-the-post for the third election, going forward.

This implementation structure avoids a complex referendum with hypothetical choices, and allows Albertans to experience provincial general elections based on the most common form of proportional representation, with the system reverting to FPTP if Albertans aren’t satisfied with MMR.

PAC Legislation

The Alberta Liberals want to regulate Political Action Committees (“PACs”) and put your democracy back in your hands. PACs are a growing problem. These American-style political groups are able to solicit unlimited union, corporate, out-of-province donations, with little or no transparency.

Only the Alberta Liberal Party has rejected this practice and only the Alberta Liberals can be trusted to fix the problem. In fact, we tabled a private member's bill to do just that, which the NDP Government killed before a vote using procedural tricks. Our plan for PACs includes:

  • Banning corporate, union, out-of-province and foreign donations.
  • Limiting PAC donations to $4,000 per year for individuals.
  • Creating a legal definition for PACs.
  • Increasing PAC donation and expenditure transparency.

Freedom of Information ("FOIP")

Access to information matters. It’s crucial to holding Governments accountable. Yet, this NDP government has received a ‘D’ grade on access to information from News Media Canada. Alberta Liberals would aim for an ‘A’, with flat-fee FOIP requests, more resources for FOIP offices and creating transparency legislation for all private-public partnerships (“P3s”).

Representation for Indigenous Peoples

We will add 6 new seats to the Alberta Legislature for Indigenous Peoples representation: 4 for First Nations, on a regional basis; and 2 for Métis Councils.

Fixed Election Dates

Rather than Alberta’s current fixed election period, we will legislate a fixed election date so Albertans always know exactly when the next election will be held and Governments can’t choose a date to their political advantage.

Stronger, More Independent Advocates

We will boost funding for the offices of the Health Advocate, the Mental Health Patient Advocate, the Disabilities Advocate, and the Seniors Advocate. We also support establishing a Legislature Budget Officer, modeled on the federal Parliamentary Budget Officer, to cut through the political spin and provide Albertans with unbiased, fact-based fiscal analysis.

Restrictions on Government Advertising and Spending During the Election and Writ Period

This NDP government, and previous Conservative governments have abused public dollars to campaign with our money, for their own political gain. An Alberta Liberal Government will strictly regulate government spending announcements and advertising in the months leading up to the election (the "election period") and during the election (the "writ period"), to stop government from abusing their power and our money.