The $50,000 question

By JOSH ALDRICH Advocate staff There are two schools of thought about the increased entry fee to run for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party — it’s too limiting or it separates the serious contenders from everyone else.

By JOSH ALDRICH

Advocate staff

There are two schools of thought about the increased entry fee to run for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party — it’s too limiting or it separates the serious contenders from everyone else.

Former PC MLA Luke Oullette for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake falls into the latter category.

Oullette said if the candidate cannot afford to come up with $50,000 to enter, how can they expect to properly finance a campaign?

“It’s very, very expensive to run a campaign,” said Oullette, noting it is costly to travel around the province to meet people and advertise.

Oullette said if someone is serious about running, they will find the money, and that includes leaning on supporters who will become essential to winning the leadership race.

The party also needs the extra cash to put on the election, after donations have fallen off.

The increased fee to enter the race was one of the decisions made at Monday night’s board of governors meeting for the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta in Red Deer.

The meeting set out the parameters to elect a new leader to replace Premier Alison Redford, who officially resigned on Sunday.

Dave Hancock was sworn in as the new interim premier on Sunday, but he has already said he will not run for the full-time position.

One of the biggest changes made was increasing the cost to enter from $40,000 in the 2011 leadership race to its new level.

Oullette, who lost his seat in the 2012 election to MLA Kerry Towle of the Wildrose party, says the party needs a “white knight in shining armour,” who is not tainted by controversy.

“We need a real common sense person that’s there to represent all Albertans and is there to represent the common person.”

Oullette, 60, also said he was undecided about whether to run for the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake seat again in 2016.

Dave Baugh, the head instructor of Red Deer College’s political science program, says the party needs to cast as wide a net as possible for its new leader, they need a “big tent” mentality.

Instead, Baugh views the entry fee as hindering the party’s ability to do that, especially when compared to similar recent leadership races.

“At face value they look less welcoming and more exclusive, and that was the criticism of them,” said Baugh.

The Alberta Tories have jumped the fee from $15,000 in 2006, to $40,000 with $15,000 refundable in 2011, to $50,000 non-refundable this year. The Alberta Liberal Party had an $10,000 entry fee in 2008.

The only other province where entry fees have hit $50,000 is Ontario, where the Liberals in 2013 and the Tories in 2009 hit $50,000.

The other notable change made Monday night was in the two-vote system. If a second vote is needed — a candidate requires more than 50 per cent of the vote to win on Sept. 6 — there will be a second vote between the top two vote-getters on Sept. 20. Previously, the top three candidates moved on to the second vote.

jaldrich@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Alberta has made a more detailed framework for those looking to acquire an exemption to the mandatory indoor mask bylaw. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
Alberta changes requirements for mask exemptions

Masks wearing has been recommended for almost a year and provincially mandated… Continue reading

Alberta’a chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday that there are more than 328,000 vaccine appointments booked over the next seven days. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta surpasses 2 million doses administered of COVID-19 vaccine

Red Deer down to 835 active cases of COVID-19

RCMP file photo (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)
RCMP investigating shooting near Maskwacis

Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP are seeking public assistance after a shooting has… Continue reading

Rode
Smith among impressive group of RDC soccer Queens recruits

There have been a number of cases where younger girls have developed… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools is projecting a $4-million budget deficit for 2021-22 school year. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools prepares $124-million budget

$1 million COVID recovery plan to assist students

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Vancouver Canucks' Nils Hoglander, right, is checked by Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during third-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday, May 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, right, drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors center Khem Birch, left, and guard Jalen Harris during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
LaVine, Markkanen lead Bulls past Raptors, 114-102

LaVine, Markkanen lead Bulls past Raptors, 114-102

NFL schedules get off to strong starts with Week 1 twinbills

NFL schedules get off to strong starts with Week 1 twinbills

The Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, is shown in Calgary, Thursday, March 12, 2020. The final three games of Canada's Secret Cup women's hockey tournament will be played in Calgary's NHL arena.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Secret Cup women’s tournament final games to be held in Calgary’s Saddledome

Secret Cup women’s tournament final games to be held in Calgary’s Saddledome

FILE - In this Thursday, July 18, 2019 file photo, Ron Francis talks to reporters in Seattle after he was introduced as the first general manager for Seattle's yet-to-be-named NHL hockey expansion team. Four years since George McPhee was a “puppet master” of the NHL leading up to the Vegas expansion draft, general managers approached this trade deadline with Seattle’s upcoming addition to the league in mind. While Kraken GM Ron Francis prepares – and maybe made a handshake deal or two already like McPhee did – Seattle was on his colleagues’ minds.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Kraken still plan to hire coach before expansion draft

Kraken still plan to hire coach before expansion draft

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney attends a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Simmering internal discontent in his United Conservative caucus has boiled over into an open challenge to his leadership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Two Alberta UCP members kicked out of caucus after challenging Kenney’s leadership

Two Alberta UCP members kicked out of caucus after challenging Kenney’s leadership

Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (13) celebrates in the outfield at the end of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Bichette, Blue Jays rally again to beat Braves 8-4

Bichette, Blue Jays rally again to beat Braves 8-4

FILE - Jordan Spieth waits his turn to putt during the third round of the Valero Texas Open golf tournament in San Antonio, in this Saturday, April 3, 2021, file photo. Spieth will try to complete the career Grand Slam next week at the PGA Championship. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas, File)
Momentum for McIlroy, few others going into PGA Championship

Momentum for McIlroy, few others going into PGA Championship

Most Read