March 11, 2019 7:57 pm
Updated: March 19, 2019 3:00 pm

Albertans annoyed by unwanted texts from political parties

WATCH: In recent weeks, Albertans have received text messages to personal phone numbers from political parties. While many believe it's spam, this kind of outreach is actually within a political party's right.

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Even though an election has not been called, more and more Albertans have complained to Global News about receiving unwanted texts from political parties.

Keith Brooks said he received two from the UCP in one day.

“It’s irritating,” he said. “I think the do-not-call list that you can put your cell phone on should include text messaging as well.”

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The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation exempts political parties because it’s considered in the public interest.

Professor Tom Keenan with the University of Calgary told Global News if a business did this, it would not be allowed but it’s fair game when it comes to politics.

“They’re not committing any crime,” he explained. “People can always retaliate by voting for the other guy if it annoys you.”

In recent weeks the calls and text messages to Albertans have ramped up. Keenan said the best policy is to simply ignore the messages and do not respond.

Keenan said parties can access your information in several ways, including your personal cell phone number.

“You may have given it to them at some point when you joined a political party and they asked if you wanted to receive information and you gave consent,” he said.

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Political parties can also purchase a database that contains information and it’s also possible that they simply have texted and called random listed numbers, Keenan said.

Keith Brooks said the texts did nothing to entice him to vote for the party, so it may be having the opposite desired effect.

“It’s not something I wanted, it shouldn’t be coming to me,” he said. “If they want to entice me to vote for them, they should come to my door.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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