Obviously the election campaign would have looked much different had the parties not had any corporate backing. Removing corporate backing would be to no party's benefit. Unless the party didn't even bother starting with it.
Imagine a party that doesn't pander to corporations. That party will only seek to connect to the individuals that could actually vote for them. Some people say I have a vivid imagination, but I hope this one is not so far-fetched as to never see it happen.
We've heard the outcry from opposition parties looking for electoral finance reform. However, if you truly want to make a difference, do as Ghandi suggested. Be the change. Any party who truly believes in the need for a ban on corporate donations needs to start with themselves, and not accept corporate donations. Not now, not ever.
Honestly, it's not the only change in our electoral financing that require change. We also need fixed election dates, not this ridiculous 90-day window thing. Along with those fixed election dates should be fixed MLA raises. Any raises that MLAs vote for could not apply to them, but must apply to the next group of MLAs. It provides stability of funding, and incentive to work hard so they can come back in 4 years.
We also need to get rid of the first-past-the-post system in favor of a system that makes every vote count, not just half of them. I know that my vote didn't elect my current MLA (Danielle Smith), nor did it have much influence on it except to say "I'm in the 48% of my constituency who didn't want you." If we had proportional representation across the province, we'd be looking at 38 PC seats, 30 WRP seats, 9 seats for each Liberal and NDP, and 1 Alberta Party seat – a minority government. Given that only 57% of Albertans voted, PCs really only won the support of one-quarter of Albertans. We could easily assume that more than 25% of Albertans' votes would actually be heard if we had proportional representation, or some model thereof.
Alberta's current electoral system is built for controversy. It's built so that the tail can wag the dog, so that issues that matter to the governance of the province get marginalized while the media buzzes around the latest filibuster. Even worse, the Speaker, thus far, seems to have little interest in keeping party politics out of the legislature, meaning that we actually delay even more productivity in the government's operations. If the Speaker did care, he wouldn't have waited four days to tell MLAs spouting off party rhetoric to shove it.
It's time to fix it.
And the party that will actually have a chance to do so is the one who starts modeling it now. I am calling for all parties to support significant electoral reform, not just electoral finance reform. Of course, I have a political party of preference, but if every party jumps on this, it will guarantee the change we need.
However, you can't just say you support it. You have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Now, which political party will stop accepting corporate donations first, proving themselves to really be for the people?