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Election day in Calgary-Lougheed is December 14, 2017 | Click here for by-election information

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Parties, Candidates & Leadership Contests

Per changes to our legislation (December 2016), please note that we are currently working to update our resource catalogue. As we complete these updates, we will post them as soon as they become available. Thank you.

Elections involve many different people and groups. The most common players are the candidates, political parties, and constituency associations. These entities work to get their members elected into the Legislative Assembly. We call these elected persons MLAs; or, Members of the Legislative Assembly.

At Elections Alberta, we offer many resources to help you explore how to take part: as a candidate, party, or the like.

Candidates are persons who seek election. Political parties often endorse these persons; but, some may run as independents.

Political Parties are political organizations that have met the specific legislative requirements. See section 6(2) of the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act.

Constituency Associations are volunteer organizations endorsed by political parties or independent MLAs. They handle political activities at the electoral division level. These activities include fund-raising, or the collection and reporting of contributions.

These entities must register with Elections Alberta. They are also required to update their registration as changes occur. All these entities must additionally file financial statements, when required. To be on the ballot, candidates must file nomination papers with the local returning officer.

Elections Alberta also manages nomination and leadership contests, and third party advertisers. We are responsible for the registration, reporting, and disclosure of these contests. We are also responsible for overseeing both political and electoral advertising.

Nomination Contests take place within political parties or constituency associations. They are how these entities choose who to endorse as candidates.

Nomination Contestants are persons who are seeking endorsement as an official candidate.

Leadership Contests are when registered political parties vote to select a new leader.

Leadership contestants are persons who seek the leadership of a registered party.