On September 27, our sneak peak on campaign funding transparency showed that 35% of candidates polled by Sustainable Calgary had committed to disclosing their campaign financing.
This number is now up to 57% of candidates, who were polled within a week of nomination day, that have now released their campaign financing information (see graph below). [i]
Candidates who have released financing information on their campaign websites include: Brent Alexander, Bob Bowles, Gian-Carlo Carra, Diane Colley-Urquhart, Peter Demong, Bernie Dowhan, Druh Farrell, Chris Harper, Michael Hartford, Shawn Kao, Jordan Katz, Shane Keating, Gail MacLeod, James Maxim, Ian Newman, Joylin Nodwell, Brian Pincott, Shawn Ripley, Scott Sorokoski, Ward Sutherland, and Judi Vanderbrink.
Why is transparency with campaign financing important? As stated by Sustainable Calgary volunteer Binnu Jeyakumar in her blog last month, disclosing campaign funding prior to the elections is not only a great way to engage voters and increase informed voting, but it is an “effective method of holding candidates accountable and keeping a check on undue influences from major contributors in city politics.”
Do we have major contributors in Calgary? Civic Camp’s Analysis of Campaign Financing in the 2010 Election shows that certain business sectors do in fact dominate campaign financing. In 2010, 2/3 of funding for all candidates came from corporations, and 2% from groups such as trade associations and unions (Figure 2). Of these corporations and organizations, approximately 2/3 of campaign funding came from the building industry, including developers and home builders (47%) and architects, planners, and contractors (19%) (Figure 3).
For more analysis of how the 2010 election was financed, check out Civic Camp’s analysis tool here.
Thanks all for reading, and stay tuned for State of our City indicators on the Natural Environment!
[i] This information was gathered by Sustainable Calgary volunteers both through polls administered by email, and by looking at candidate websites.