About our initiative

In February, 2013, a Citizens’ Information Guide Group (CIGG) was formed within CivicCamp. Its purpose was twofold:

  • offer a Citizens' Guide booklet and a website that provide Calgarians with useful and non-partisan information for the 2013 municipal election.
  • provide public interactive visualization to allow citizens to explore and compare types of funding and contributors by sector for the 2010 campaign finance at the city level, the ward level and the candidate level.

The group, helped by crowdsourcers, documented the contributions made to candidates for City Council during the 2010 election campaign. This website is the result of the CIGG’s work after several hundred man-hours of research and data validation, pulling some hair out and the help of great volunteers!

Why?

The primary motivation behind this endeavour is to promote transparency as well as informed dialogue on critical issues.

Political campaigns are about many things, with money – how it is raised and how it is spent – being one key issue. A candidate raising a large amount of money may win by outspending opponents rather than being more qualified for the job. As well, the interests of a few major contributors may have undue influence on the decisions of those elected.

The authors of the articles have tried to represent the information as accurately as possible and do not necesarily reflect the views of Civic Camp or Sustainable Calgary as an organization. If there is any misrepresentation of facts, please notify us.

Voters and other Calgarians are interested in who contributes to political campaigns and how money is raised and managed. That information is one way people can evaluate the political sympathies and commitment to transparency of candidates. Information on campaign contributions is also valuable to show who supports which candidates. Whether the contributions are made to gain access to or influence a candidate, they are an indication of which interests are being brought to a candidate’s attention and, for voters, whether those interests are compatible with their own.

Who?

The Citizens' Information Guide Group is a small group of volunteers who believe in an engaged and informed citizenry and a transparent and accountable government. We come from a wide range of backgrounds, but have been working together since March this year to collate the 2010 campaign finance data and information on various issues pertinent to Calgarians. It has been a great learning experience for us and we are excited to share the results with you.

If you have any questions about the information published here, please contact us at cigg@civiccamp.org

Thank you,

The Citizen's Information Guide Group: Aida N., Benjamin I., Binnu J., Greg M.

Special thanks to: Byron M., Jeremy Z., Peter R., and everyone who participated in our crowdsourcing initiatives to digitize and analyze the 2010 campaign finance disclosures.