May 28, 2013
Wildrose Calls on Chief Electoral Officer to Investigate 2012 Campaign Autodialing
EDMONTON, AB (May 28, 2013): The Wildrose Party will be pleased to co-operate with the Chief Electoral Officer as part of a broad investigation into autodialing practices during the 2012 election campaign and is calling on all provincial political parties to cooperate with any investigation by providing records of their calls to Elections Alberta.
In a letter sent to Chief Electoral Officer Lori McKee-Jeske this afternoon, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith offered to release all scripts, recordings and vendor details for automated calls placed on the party’s behalf during the 2012 election period should she decide to investigate the matter. “We are happy to fully co-operate with the Chief Electoral Officer to make sure no party compromised the integrity of our electoral system with auto-dialing practices,” Smith said. “We are calling on all parties to do the same. We believe the matter is important enough for the Chief Electoral Officer to launch a full investigation into all parties to clear the air and establish what impact, if any, automated dialing during the election may have had on the result.” Last week, Wildrose paid a $90,000 administrative penalty for violating federal regulations that stipulate parties must identify themselves and provide a mailing address and telephone number during election survey calls. The Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) expressed concern over one Wildrose survey call conducted during the 2012 campaign period. It ran between April 4-5. The script of that call, along with a revised version of the same script that would have brought it into compliance, can be found here. Wildrose fully co-operated with the federal investigation and took full responsibility for violating regulations. Smith said she welcomes the Chief Electoral Officer’s further scrutiny into autodialing practices. "Technology has become just as much a part of our elections these days as lawn signs and door-knocking," concluded Smith. "Wildrose recognizes that Alberta's election laws need to reflect this new reality and I call on all party leaders to work collaboratively with Ms. McKee-Jeske to ensure all parties follow the same rules in the next election." At the request of the CRTC, Wildrose will not offer further comment on its investigation until it issues an official release.