Candidates in the Alberta Tory leadership race don't have to reveal who is donating money to their campaign or how that money is spent.

Alberta premier Ralph Klein resigned Wednesday, signalling the official start of a Progressive Conservative leadership race that already has nine candidates in the running.

Klein will remain premier until his replacement is sworn in this December.

The reason there aren't any rules on campaign contributionsand spending is that any requirements would be unenforceable, said party president Doug Graham.

"I think what you have to understand fundamentally is this process is being run by volunteers and they are donating their time. So is it a perfect process? No, but I can assure you it's the best we can do."

Too late for rules now: Morton

One of the leadership candidates, Ted Morton, said having so few money rules for candidates was a party decision. Morton said he wouldn't have minded if some requirements had been put in place before the race started but it's too late now.

"I'm not opposed to it, but that's not the rules we began the race under so we can't change the rules in mid-stream."

The party has failed to realize that there's more of an expectation today that contributions and spending be regulated, said David Stewart, a political scientist at the University of Calgary.

He points out the current leadership rules are the same ones used in the last Tory leadership race in 1992.

"That may be more in keeping with the political culture of Alberta, but I think the direction in Canada, nationally and in other provinces, is towards more regulation, more transparency, more disclosure."

Some candidates have said they will voluntarily disclose information about their contributions, but not until the leadership contest is over.

Earlier this month, leadership candidate Dave Hancock said he wouldn't consider raising money for his campaign outside Alberta, unlike two candidates who are seeking funds in other provinces.