this blog has moved to a new address: daveberta.ca

Please update your RSS, bookmarks, and links to http://daveberta.ca.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

alberta ndp. on your side?

Okay, let's take a close look at the Alberta NDP this morning...

September 21, 2007
: NDP MLA Ray Martin writes to Alberta unions to shake them down for a minimum of $5,000 to fund another NDP election campaign.

Fall 2007: NDP leader Brian Mason writes in his Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood MLA newsletter that he supports eliminating corporate and union donations to political parties.

Furthermore, NDP leader Brian Mason said in Calgary yesterday that “Liberals and Conservatives accepted $1.5 million from big oil and other large corporations in 2006, and almost $1.6 million in 2005.” The statement is not just misleading, but wrong.

According to Elections Alberta breakdowns, the Alberta Liberals received roughly $273,000 from all corporate sources in 2005, and $336,000 in 2006. When you actually look at the numbers, lumping the Alberta Liberals together with the Progressive Conservative fundraising totals is disingenuous.

Mason also stated the NDP received $18,000 from unions in 2006. While this is correct, the NDP received over $100,000 in donations from union sources in 2004, an election year.

One wonders how much the NDP raised in 2007, when NDP MLA Ray Martin demanded his $5,000 shakedown...

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ouch! Someone missed the strategy memo about ignoring the NDP and trying to pretend they don't exist.

jonathan said...

This is confusing. If they don't get money from unions, who's left? Seniors?

Anonymous said...

Typical NDP.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see Brian Mason's head explode.

c-lo said...

Ummm how was that a shakedown?

Anonymous said...

I thought I read in the Sun or Journal that the NDP received something like $50,000 from the Unions last year. Anyone else read that?

Anonymous said...

When the NDP doesn't have to compete with corporate donations, they will gladly give up union donations. In any case, are union donations really in the same league as corporate donations? Unions are made up of everyday working people. At least we know that at worst, an NDP government would favour working people over corporations.

It is unfair to group paint Liberals with the same brush as Conservatives here, but $336 000 is still a pretty good chunk of change.

Anonymous said...

And yes, Brian Mason told the Journal the NDP received $50 000 from unions last year.

http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/features/albertavotes/story.html?id=cf0e6a49-3d3d-44c2-ad61-c846b10842d9&k=87950

eugene plawiuk said...

Since election laws in Alberta allow for corporate and union donations then what is your point dave? Besides how many oil company execs did the Liberals shake down for donations? And while you are at reviewing 2004 donation perhaps you should note of the three parties only the NDP has the most 'individual' donations of any party.
Business of course does not donate to the NDP. Never has never will. Regardless of the laws. So eliminating corporate and union donations, will not hurt the NDP unlike your party of preference.
Oh by the by how much have you donated to eliminate your parties debt? Or are you saving to pay off your student loan?

Anonymous said...

Typical Liberal nonsense from Daveberta.

Dr. Taft & his Liberals have asked Alberta voters to give big gas companies a break at the taxpayers expense.

Who here actually thinks gas companies need any more of our money during this time of record profits for them?

The only party that will stand up for ordinary Albertans is Brian Mason and the NDP.

Anonymous said...

Who are the NDP? Aren't they those guys from Ontario?

desges said...

Eugene: "Since election laws in Alberta allow for corporate and union donations then what is your point dave?"

I think Dave means to say that the NDP should quit being such hypocrites. Just because they only have 4 seats and 7% popular support they don't own the moral high ground they constantly trumpet.

Alberta Insider said...

Hmmm... Daveberta - did we watch the same news story? I thought Mason said that he would give up union donations - he was quite content to acknowledge that he currently receives them...

I'd also like to point out that my union has indeed voted to give money to Mason and Alberta's NDP - after all, the money comes from our dues.

Are you daft? Or just Liberal?

desges said...

Does Brian Mason think that union members voting to make donations is more justified than regular Albertan small-business people making donations?

I thought Brian Mason was on the side of regular Albertans but I guess he's just on the side of big unions. Same old AFL-NDP.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I have no problem with banning corporate donations. But the NDP's sanctimonious harping of this issue, not to mention their lumping together of the Liberals and Conservatives, grows tiresome and hurts the province more than it helps.

This news release exemplifies the point: http://www.albertandp.ca/News.cfm?ID=824 In it the NDP claims that the eeevil corporate suckup Liberals voted against an NDP motion to make Alberta meet Kyoto targets. Basically, the NDP claims that David Swann hates Kyoto and loves big oil.

The problem, though, is that it wasn't a debate about Kyoto, and it wasn't a motion "that the government set emissions targets in line with the Kyoto protocol" or anything of the sort. It was an amendment to a weak government bill. Eeevil business suckup David Swann actually said that "we have to start making much stronger efforts, much more concrete and absolute targets for our emissions and timelines." So why did the Liberals vote against it? Harry Chase said that "my main reason for standing up was to indicate that it’s said that you can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse, which is the equivalent challenge of trying to make Bill 3 environmentally functional."

So they didn't think the amendment would be effective. That's open for debate. But for the NDP to turn that into "Liberals hate the environment" and "David Swann doesn't care about Kyoto" is a stretch, which brings me back to the corporate/union donations debate. The NDP present such a simple picture of issues--but that does nothing to help political debate in this province. It insults the intelligence of voters.

Sean S. said...

Dave,

Its no secret that the NDP regularly conducts "shakedowns" of unions (where legal) for donations, just as the Tories and Liberals "shakedown" corporations.

Going by the numbers unearthed by Eugene it seems that the Liberals and Tories would have the most to lose if union and corporate donations were banned. All one has to do is look at the Federal financing numbers to understand that the Liberals are not all that good of removing themselves from the corporate teet.

I'm not sure how you can condemn the Alberta NDP for soliciting funds from unions when your party does exactly the same thing with corporations. I also don't see Mr. Mason trying to cover up this fact (and why would he, its all available at the click of a mouse). The question is, why are corporate and union donations still allowed in Alberta politics? and why don't you support getting rid of them?

The conveniently missing facts and hyper-partisan slight of hand approach you have taken with this post is confusing given the nature of the CBA awards you so prominently display on your site.

Anonymous said...

I fail to understand how the NDP pitching for union donations is any different than the Liberals or Tories pitching for corporate donations. Both unions and corporations represent inequal and biased influences on the political process, the NDP have no license to criticize because they subscribe to a slightly different form of political influence. The NDP are just as guilty and are hypocrites for suggesting that big union donations are any better than big business donations.

Anonymous said...

...and they will gladly give up those union donations, if people feel that way about them--but only when the Liberals and Conservatives give up their corporate donations. That's not meant to be a 'we'll clean up our act when you clean up yours' statement, either. We don't feel on our side that union donations are unethical, but if the majority of people do, that's fair. However it's unfair to ask us to do that now when we're up against the financial powerhouses of the Liberals and Conservatives, financed in large part or at least helped along by corporations. NOT small businesses, as a previous commenter mentioned, but large corporations.

One thing that must be said about the NDP is that even with union donations (and I've looked at financial statements of all three parties) is that we have nowhere near the resources of either the Libs or PCs; the support that we have has largely been gained through grassroots methods and simply shared ideals rather than through money spent on advertising or campaign events. Not saying that it's necessarily bad to do those things, but I think the NDP deserves some credit in that they have managed to become something of a force in Alberta politics without many resources.

Simon said...

This is a very weak post. Shame on you Dave.

a green albertan said...

Mason said: "Imagine how Alberta families could benefit from oil and gas if we didn't have a government beholden to oil and gas,"

That would be great. But the NDP bring Albertans a party beholden to big Unions. Same old story.

Vote Green!

Anonymous said...

Vote Green? They don't even have a candidate in my area. The provincial Green party is a joke, with no where near the same momentum that the federal Greens have.

Get an interesting leader who can actually drum up media and candidates and try again next time.

New ND said...

I can't see how this can be argued.

The Liberals receive less corporate donations than the PCs, but still far more than is acceptable. Just because there is a worse entity out there does not make your action ok. As someone pointed out, the last year for which we have public records, 2006, was a NON-ELECTION YEAR, and the Liberals STILL accepted $300k in corporate donations.
The NDP accepts some union donations, and that is somehow worse?
Not only are union donations from the working people to help working people, and not only are they only a fraction of the size of the corrupting donations from large corporations to Liberals and PCs, but the NDP is also including the removal of union donations in their proposal. The NDP understands that even though Union donations are not nearly as bad and not nearly as large as corporate donations, they are the closest approximation to corporate donations in the NDP budget, so in the interest of fair play we should eliminate both.
If you still somehow don't see this as a good proposal and fair criticism of both the Liberals and PCs, check the last lines of the 2004 contributions where the Liberals received over $30k in Union donations.
Only by twisting the facts deliberately and with malice can you find any result other than a corrupting influence on the Liberal and PC parties from their large corporate donations, and an NDP acting to put a stop to it.

Anonymous said...

So much for the strategy of making like the NDP is irrelevant..

As a PC, I would be more than happy to have the NDP as Opposition. I don't agree with them on economic issues, but at least they stand for something. The Liberals just check the direction of the wind in the morning, and go in that direction. Kyoto one day, royalty breaks to gas companies another. Saving for the Heritage Fund, yet spending more on practically everything. I would say Taft = Dion, but why insult Dion?

Anonymous said...

If we want to nit pick over accurate reporting the NDP received exactly $927,000.00 in 2004 from any and all trade union sources. This can be validated on the Elections Alberta website. I am also particular perturbed that someone who has been honoured with a variety of awards, including a "progressive blog" cannot see the value in taking the big money out of politics. Mason has repeatedly stated that he will be more than happy to sacrifice any and all union donation should the liberals and conservatives for go their exorbitant corporate donations. As an increasingly popular media source I'm disappointed in the inaccuracies and bias presented in this article.

HammertimeGP said...

http://www.hammertimegp.blogspot.com

HammertimeGP said...

http://www.hammertimegp.blogspot.com