By Lethbridge Herald on June 10, 2015.
Could Albertans see another political dynasty under the NDP?
That is just one of the questions this weekâ€™s regular session of the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs will tackle on Thursday.
Among many promises, one of the first items on Premier Rachel Notleyâ€™s agenda, besides a revised budget, may be campaign finance reform, according to Duane Bratt, the chair and a professor in the Department of Policy Studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
Currently, individuals, corporations and unions have a $15,000 limit on campaign donations to political parties in non-election years, and $30,000 in election years. Removal of corporate and union donations and lowering the limits, could see a ceiling of $1,500 per person, per year thereby putting an end to Albertaâ€™s slanted election finances, according to Bratt, while closely resembling laws at the federal level and in many provinces.
Such rule changes may help prevent any future political dynasty in Alberta, he added, as Bratt will argue these democratic-reform measures would mean any future governments will not be able to use the tools and levers of government to promote and sustain their political party like the PCs, and before them, the Social Credit party, have done. Albertaâ€™s political system could possibly grow into a mature mix of parties with competitive elections and regular rotation of governments, according to Bratt, who will give his perspective on this and other issues facing Albertaâ€™s recently-elected NDP government.
Bratt was educated at the universities of Windsor (BA 1991, MA 1992) and Alberta (Ph.D. 1996). He teaches in the area of international relations and Canadian public policy, with specialty in the sub-field of Canadian foreign policy. His primary research interest is in the area of Canadian nuclear policy.
His recent publications include Canada, the Provinces, and the Global Nuclear Revival (McGill-Queenâ€™s University Press: Montreal and Kingston, 2012) and co-editor, Readings in Canadian Foreign Policy: Classic Debates and New Ideas 2nd edition (Oxford University Press: Toronto, 2011). Bratt is also a regular commentator on political events.
Thursdayâ€™s session goes from noon-1:30 p.m. (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and question and answer) at Country Kitchen Catering (lower level of The Keg) at 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S. at a cost of $11 (includes lunch) or $2 (includes coffee/tea at the presentation).