by Morinville News Staff

The Wildrose are accusing the NDP MLAs of doubling down on their overhauling of election financing by defeating a Wildrose motion to level the playing field with election spending.

Proposed changes would see party spending set at $1.6 million during election campaigns and individual constituency candidates capped at $40,000. Currently corporate and union donations are prohibited, but there is no limit on spending.

Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock Wildrose MLA Glenn van Djiken raised a motion that would have amended the NDP’s proposed $2.3 million general election spending cap by allowing political parties to spend up to the annual average of the previous three years of advertising spending.

Wildrose has been critical of the government’s advertising spending over the past year. They are particularly troubled with the $6 million they say the government has spent to promote economic policies, $4.4 million of which they say have been on the carbon tax, and more than $1 million to advertise two budgets.

“Wildrose believes that it is absolutely ridiculous for the current government to spend millions of tax dollars to advertise their risky policies, yet bar political parties from spending a similar amount of money raised through donations during a campaign,” van Dijken said. “The NDP government is out of touch with everyday Albertans, and are ramming through recommendations that will drastically change our election system.”

The Wildrose further accuse the NDP overhaul of the current election system for what it sees as a one-two punch of forcing election subsidies on Alberta taxpayers, and placing limits on spending, something it believes will prevent so opposing parties from keeping up with government advertising levels.

“Albertans deserve better than what the NDP government is trying to push through a committee in the middle of August,” Wildrose House Leader Nathan Cooper said. “Wildrose will continue to be on the side of everyday Albertans, and argue against these out of touch policies the NDP is putting forward.”

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