Friday, July 31, 2009

A Green Shift

Update at bottom...

This is huge:

OTTAWA — For the first time in years, the federal Liberals are giving the Tories a run for their money when it comes to fundraising.

During the second quarter of 2009, Liberals pulled in $3.878 million - a whisker short of the $3.957 million raked in by the cash-hoovering Conservatives.

Overall this year, Liberals have amassed $5.7 million in donations, more than triple their take during same period last year.

The Conservatives have pulled in $8.3 million so far, down slightly from 2008.

I'm curious to see where the parties are at on the number of donors, since if this has come mostly from maxing out the big fish early, it will be harder to sustain these kind of numbers throughout the year.

But this is still excellent news.

UPDATE: Pundits Guide has the breakdown by donation size. Even though the Liberals and Tories were close in total donations, the Tories had 81% more donors than the Liberals, who relied mostly on large donations.


  • Elections Canada has the detailed info on their website now. It is a bit of both. The fact that the Libs raised the same as the CPC comes from large donors, but the Liberals did more than double their number of small donors compared to last year.

    So they are making good progress on all fundraising fronts, but it is unlikely they will be able to maintain the same level as the CPC for the remainder of the year as a substantial fraction of the LPC money appears to come from donors who have maxed out. Note the CPC has about 35,000 donors, while the LPC has about 20,000.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:11 a.m.  

  • Does this mean that the LIEberals will pay back the money they stole from tax-payers in Ad-scam? If they ever kept that promise, I would even consider voting for them.

    I doubt we will ever see that promise kept - just like the promise to change/abolish the Grits Support Tories tax [GST
    ] It was that promise - that was broken - that I voted for the LIEberals - therefor the name "LIEberals" - not counting other broken promises in the Red Book, Now Biffy wants to increase it if and when the LIEberals get back in power.

    I am still waiting for ANY policy put forward by the LIEberals that are different than the Cons - like DeYawn - the LIEberals will be back-benchers to the Cons if they continue to back them. Are the LIEberals afraid of Harper or an election?

    By Anonymous Clown Party, at 9:34 a.m.  

  • In fairness, I should add, that this includes the convention, which probably inflated numbers a bit.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:50 a.m.  

  • And the Liberals sell out the NDP, Bloc and Greens by supporting Harper's cancellation of voter subsidies in 5...4...3...

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 10:40 a.m.  

  • It's still a bit sad that almost catching up the Conservatives in one quarter is considered a great success.

    By Blogger UWHabs, at 11:07 a.m.  

  • And the Liberals sell out the NDP, Bloc and Greens by supporting Harper's cancellation of voter subsidies in 5...4...3...

    There has been no indication of that. A balance between fundraising and support based on electoral votes seems like a reasonable system and I hope the Liberals understand this. In the past, they have not made changes to political funding based solely on self-interest, so there is no reason to assume that will suddenly change.

    As to Harper implementing changes - the more successful the Liberals are at fundraising, the less likely it is that Harper will try to eliminate voter subsidies. It does Harper no good to primarily weaken the NDP, Greens and Bloc, if the Liberals can do fine on fundraising.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:34 a.m.  

  • Well, we know Harper will put the subsidy removal in his platform.

    So if Harper wins a minority, he might try to ram it through again.

    I think the Liberals are still a long way off from supporting it, but one presumes their reaction might be different now than it was a year ago...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:23 p.m.  

  • I just posted the breakdowns by donor category at the Pundits' Guide now, and independently came to pretty much the same conclusion as you did, Dan. I'll estimate the extent of tapped-out-ness (I'll have to come up with a better term!) for each party later today.

    By Blogger The Pundits' Guide, at 12:57 p.m.  

  • "It does Harper no good to primarily weaken the NDP, Greens and Bloc, if the Liberals can do fine on fundraising."

    Actually, it would still be in the interest of both the Conservatives and the Liberals if it weakened the Bloc significantly. Both the parties want majorities and the Bloc is the biggest roadblock. It would also help the provincial Liberals in Quebec. It's basically in every federalist's interest.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:11 p.m.  

  • But this is still excellent news.

    And not just for Liberals, but for anyone who wants the Tories to work a little harder.

    In other words, a Liberal party that's actually (finally) starting to get interested in what the people want instead of what the party wants is good for everyone.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 3:51 p.m.  

  • Thanks for the link, Dan.

    Permit me a word on the Bloc. It's easy to make incorrect assumptions about their finances based on these totals, and many people have argued based on a quick eyeball skim of the filings that they are too dependent on the subsidy.

    But if you study their historical financial statements, they used to always attribute membership and donation revenue to the constituencies it came from. The centre would then assess a royalty on those constituency funds. However this method was no longer permitted after the rules changed in 2004, and ridings had to start filing their own returns.

    Meantime, though, the subsidy came into effect, so the centre lived off that and left more funds to the ridings. Duceppe, I'm sure has surveyed the landscape and decided that simply relying on the subsidy at the centre might make them vulnerable, so they've ramped up fundraising (and of course the two provincial elections are out of the way now as well). However, they are a mass-based party and their organization would survive without the subsidy just fine I believe.

    My point is, to compare the Bloc's finances pre- and post-subsidy, you have to include both the central party AND the riding associations' data (true for everyone, actually), which is something I hope one day to be able to do.

    By Blogger The Pundits' Guide, at 6:24 p.m.  

  • With spending caps of 20 million dollars, the improvements in Liberal financing make little difference. Can we eliminate campaign finance reform yet? We have seen what 5 years of elections without money look like, and it isn't that pretty.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 12:27 p.m.  

  • "Well, we know Harper will put the subsidy removal in his platform.

    I'd argue that the Liberals (and NdP too, if they want to get on the right side of the issue) should put in a policy that also eliminates or reduces public funding of political parties.

    My idea is that the ballot would have a check box where each individual voter can decide (since each ballot is traceable) whether to fund the political party of their choice to $2, or not fund it. This would empower the voter, respond to the CONs trumping of a faux issue, and pull it away from them as an issue.
    Then comes the question on how to reduce the income tax deductibility of political donations back in line with other donations. Although I doubt that's something the Liberals or CONs would care to touch at this moment. Especially since it doesn't register with the public for its unfairness...

    By Blogger rockfish, at 1:48 p.m.  

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