Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The $200 Gap

The 2009 fundraising numbers are out. The good news for the Liberals is that they've closed the fundraising gap. The bad news? It's still an 8 million dollar gap, which grows to about 11 million when you consider the per-vote subsidies.

Via Pundits' Guide, here's a look at the year-over-year numbers, since Harper cut the donation cap:


Pundits Guide also has the dollar breakdown - it's not perfect since this still includes "double dip" donations, but it clearly shows the Tory advantage remains on the small donation front. The Liberals actually out-raised the Conservatives slightly on donations over $200, but the Tories hold a commanding $12 million to $3 million lead when it comes to the small cheques.

So, despite some incredible progress in 2009, there's still a lot of work to be done.

(And, you know, if you're so inclined to help close the gap, just click through here)

Labels:

51 Comments:

  • Why do you think it is that Conservatives or CPC supporters tend to be willing to give of themselves in this fashion, whereas the rank and file of the LPC supporters do not?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:42 PM  

  • Anon,

    Its because the current Cons. system was built on the old Reform Party fundraising system. The theory goes that because no businesses would support Reform when it first started, they had to rely on small donations of little old ladies in Vegreville sending 10 bucks a month. That fundraising style stuck with the Reformers and the Alliance and now the Conservatives.

    It is a lot different for the Liberals and the old PCers, who relied on a majority of corporate donations. When Chretien changed the laws in 03, the Liberals were never prepared and Martin/Dion never did anything to really change it. It really screwed us up, but it isn't so much as a lack of willingness on the part of supporters, so much as a lack of infrastructure to set up such a system.

    By Blogger Volkov, at 6:46 PM  

  • "it isn't so much as a lack of willingness on the part of supporters, so much as a lack of infrastructure to set up such a system"

    So you're trying to say that Liberal grass-roots would be happy to contribute but in 7 years the Liberal Party organizers haven't managed to get their act together ????

    By Blogger jad, at 7:13 PM  

  • Jad,

    Pretty much. Its sad, yes, but I've tried to deal with the people at LPCO in regards to fundraising, and oh my Lord, its almost scary how bad it can get. But, it is improving.

    By Blogger Volkov, at 7:22 PM  

  • And let's not ignore situations such as, the minister at the Baptist church that my aunt attends, who allows the local CPC party hack to stand up in the pulpit, and remind the congregation to donate often to help Harper save Canadians from teh gheys and the baby killers, and the feminazis, and juvenile delinquents of certain colours, who have immigrated to Canada from far off lands, etc., etc., etc.

    If the LPC were better at proselytizing, they'd be pulling in these tiny monthly donations by the millions, too.

    By Anonymous Paul Raposo, at 7:42 PM  

  • I think it's a mix of the two. As a centrist party, it's harder to get people who feel strongly enough about something to donate money.

    But, beyond that, the CPC are better at spuring their supporters on, and they have better databases and infrastructure to make sure they get the small donations.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 8:55 PM  

  • Hello Grit, and thanks for the citation.

    I'm wondering if I explained things properly, and just want to make sure I understand what you mean by "double dip" donations. It's complicated, and I try to do as good a job as I can explaining my data, but I'm not sure I always succeed, so bear with me.

    Suppose I give $15/mo to my party of choice. I get counted as 1 contributor of $200 and under in EACH of the 4 quarterly reports. Then, in the annual report that's filed with the financial statements (due at the end of June) I get counted as 1 contributor of $200 and under (since 12 * $15 = $180).

    Suppose, however, that my monthly donation is $20. Then I get counted as 1 contributor of $200 and under in each of the 4 quarters, but 1 contributor OVER $200 in the annual report (12 * $20 = $240, but 3 * $20 = $60).

    Finally, let's say I contribute $80/month. Now I count as 1 contributor over $200 in each of the 4 quarters, and 1 contributor over $200 in the annual report (3 * $80 = $240 and 12 * $80 = $960).

    This means that:
    * you can't sum the NUMBERS of contributors across quarters
    * some people will show up as large contributors only in the annual filings if their quarterly contribution totals never exceeded $200. They show up as small contributors on the quarterly filings.

    Regardless, the total AMOUNT of donations should be correct. It may just break down slightly differently by donation size in the annual report than it does in an aggregation of the quarterly reports.

    So, while we have to guard against inadvertant errors in double-counting the number of contributors across quarterly filings, there is not the same danger of double-counting donation amounts.

    So far, these data are only the aggregation of the 4 quarterly reports. It will take another 5 months to get the final accounting.

    There, I probably only made it worse, eh ;-)

    By Blogger The Pundits' Guide, at 9:09 PM  

  • The fund raising numbers having nothing to do with infrastructure and everything to do with policy, as is there isn't any. I used to get fundraising stuff from Reform all the time when I lived in Alberta. The strategy is simple - rile up the base about how the left wing is bringing the world to an end and then convince the base that you are really going to kill the gun registry, defund the CBC, lock up juveniles and drug pushers, shut down immigration or whatever retarded thing they want and people send money. I'm furious about Harper's fake childcare policy and if the Liberal party could convince me that they were going to do something about national daycare I'd send a hundred bucks but I've been had too many times. I'm doubly furious about crime policy but I nearly quit the party when they voted for Harper crime bills. Why didn't the party flood my e-mail with messages about the Harper cut-backs to Planned Parenthood? I'd send them a hundred bucks if they could convince me that they cared and would reinstate that funding. It's hard to raise funding if you're inept at making your supporters angry, too lazy to ask for money repeatedly, and too afraid of upsetting people to have any actual policies. The party needs to take a stand on at least one or two concrete things and then use that effectively.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:20 PM  

  • And let's not ignore situations such as, the minister at the Baptist church that my aunt attends, who allows the local CPC party hack to stand up in the pulpit...

    And what is the name of this church, Paul?

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 12:22 AM  

  • Could be the church of Right-wing Radio.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:36 AM  

  • What's more offensive: the beliefs of that fictional "CPC hack", or someone who believes that Baptist Canadians would give money to someone like that?

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:35 AM  

  • "As a centrist party, it's harder to get people who feel strongly enough about something to donate money."

    Great analysis. As we can see from the chart, both the left and right have approximately equal donations as the NDP and Conservatives sufficiently mobilize their base to donate money for the pet causes of the left and right.

    Oh wait ... I'm confused. Why can't the left mobilize their supporters? Afterall, they CARE about stuff.

    By Anonymous Master Analyst, at 11:10 AM  

  • When you look at the bigger picture, its not 'incredible progress in 2009'.

    It is some very modest progress, and it started in mid-2008, during Dion's tenure.

    Since then the Liberal Party has graduated to being able to breakeven on non-election operating expenses. Every quarter since mid-2008 the fundraising has been at breakeven [with expenses] level.

    With the notable exception of Q2 2009 that includes the hefty delegate Convention fees and the peak of the Rossi driven big event fundraisers- none of which is repeated.

    That banner quarter was enough to pay off the campaign debt, and its been back to breakeven since, just like the 3 quarters prior.

    Despite appearances, the gap with the Conservatives has not closed one bit. Breakeven operations puts the LPC on the same lousy footing as going into the 2008 campaign, which saw $4million triaged out of the crucial late campaign spending.

    I went into this in a bit more depth in the comments on the Punditd Guide blogpost.

    http://www.punditsguide.ca/2010/02/2009-contributions-by-week-and-annual.php#links

    By Blogger Ken Summers, at 11:24 AM  

  • What's more offensive: the beliefs of that fictional "CPC hack", or someone who believes that Baptist Canadians would give money to someone like that?

    Robert, ignoring your usual braying, I must ask, what possesses you to personally attack me every time I post a comment here?

    What is your basis for claiming a "fictional" CPC hack?

    You've praised yourself on your being unpartizan, yet firmly wedge your shorts up your crack every time a person makes a comment about the CPC. Why?

    I've stated before that I don't have time to read the--what appears to be--mind numbing posts on your blogs, so i don't really know you.

    So what was it; the CPC hack comment; the comment about a Baptist church? Tell me what your bias is, so that I may know you better, Robert.

    You clearly have a real hate-on for me, but I don't know why.

    By Anonymous Paul Raposo, at 12:43 PM  

  • "Oh wait ... I'm confused. Why can't the left mobilize their supporters? Afterall, they CARE about stuff."

    There are fewer of them, and they are poorer on average than members of the other parties. Moreover, with the decline of unions, the old fundraising networks are less effective.

    And hey, they took in as much as the Liberals in 2007 and 2008, with far fewer supporters.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 1:05 PM  

  • "There are fewer of them, and they are poorer on average than members of the other parties. Moreover, with the decline of unions, the old fundraising networks are less effective."

    Great point. I forgot that the left-right divide was based solely on union membership and nothing else. Nope, no other issues for the left out there. No anti-bank sentiment, no anti-war sentiment, no environmental issues, no Conservative government in power, etc., etc.

    I guess it's tough to be a fundraiser on the left when the right is governing so perfectly.

    By Anonymous Stuck in the 70s, at 1:37 PM  

  • Nothing personal Paul, I wasn't even familiar with your name until you reminded me.

    It wasn't the CPC thing either - I've voted conservative once in my entire life and have felt like a fool ever since.

    I object to unfair and bigoted characterizations of any group, including Baptists. I highly doubt that anyone who behaved like that CPC hack would be welcome back and/or given money - he'd be lucky to make it back to his car in one piece.

    But even if you're right - is Canada really so infested with such diseased-minded bigots as to explain an 8 million dollar difference?

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 2:12 PM  

  • Great analysis. As we can see from the chart, both the left and right have approximately equal donations as the NDP and Conservatives sufficiently mobilize their base to donate money for the pet causes of the left and right.

    The NDP do alright when you consider that there are fewer of them than Conservatives and have a weaker organization/structure (which was my second point).

    In reality, the Liberals need to use the "scare tactics" to advertize - even if people don't care as strongly about Liberal centrist positions, they should be able to scare supporters into giving money to STOP more radical positions.

    That might, in part, explain Ignatieff's little abortion aside yesterday.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:01 PM  

  • Great analysis. As we can see from the chart, both the left and right have approximately equal donations as the NDP and Conservatives sufficiently mobilize their base to donate money for the pet causes of the left and right.

    The NDP do alright when you consider that there are fewer of them than Conservatives and have a weaker organization/structure (which was my second point).

    In reality, the Liberals need to use the "scare tactics" to advertize - even if people don't care as strongly about Liberal centrist positions, they should be able to scare supporters into giving money to STOP more radical positions.

    That might, in part, explain Ignatieff's little abortion aside yesterday.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:01 PM  

  • Totally agreed on that last point, grit.

    What Iggy did yesterday was brilliant. We all know Canadians hunger for more abortions. Iggy is there to fund them. Iggy is going to make sure that every aborted fetus in the third world was aborted with Canadian tax dollars.

    If that doesn't get Toronto back into the Liberal column, nothing will.

    By Anonymous Canadians for Third World Abortions, at 3:41 PM  

  • Good to know the Con patTrollers are hovering like kites over progressive blogs waiting to go torytorytory on the shiny chum points tossed in the water for them.

    How's abstinence worked out in your life CFTWA? Ever had to deal with pregnancy due to rape? Life security needs a full slate of options if bemoaning the fate of women *anywhere* is to be more than crocodile tears.

    My tax dollars are just fine supporting that full slate of options abroad and *at home*. Beats the hell out of buying signs extolling the "action plan" on my tax dime. How many family planning clinics across this country could be funded on the cost of those idiot signs?

    By Blogger Niles, at 5:01 PM  

  • CFTWA, like Jason Kenney, abstains from sex with girls.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:47 PM  

  • "In reality, the Liberals need to use the "scare tactics" to advertize"

    More vague insinuations about what Conservatives MIGHT do if they get a majority is not going to get Liberals to open their wallets. At least the Conservatives have some wedge issues they claim to care about like abolishing the gun registry.

    "even if people don't care as strongly about Liberal centrist positions, they should be able to scare supporters into giving money to STOP more radical positions."

    You expect people to donate money to preserve the status quo? Good luck with that. Consevatives make their money on the hot button issues that rankle their base. Surely there's some change that a big chunk of the Liberal base can rally around that the Conservatives can't touch. I suspect it's not daycare.

    By Anonymous Harper ... Boo! Send money, at 5:48 PM  

  • Wow, progressive anonomy are attempting slurs using one's potential sexual orientation.

    Very progressive. Very centrist.

    By Anonymous Homosexuals Who Don't Think Sexual Orientation is Relevant, at 6:47 PM  

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